Electric spark displays, 1850s

Electric spark displays, 1850s

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Electric spark displays. Historical illustration of two electric spark displays, demonstrating the principles behind the gas discharge tubes. These displays are similar to the Geissler tube invented in 1857 by German physicist and glassblower Heinrich Geissler. This invention consisted of a sealed glass tube containing a partial vacuum and gases such as neon. Applying a high-voltage electric current to the ends of the tube causes the gas atoms to fluoresce. This was an early form of what is now called neon lighting. Artwork from 'Electricite' (1911) by Max de Nansouty, part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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Keywords: 1800s, 1850s, 19th century, apparatus, artwork, black-and-white, electric, electrical, electricite, electricity, engineering, equipment, european, fluorescence, fluorescing, gas discharge tube, geissler, geissler tube, german, heinrich geissler, historical, history, illustration, les merveilles de la science, lightning, lights, louis figuier, machine, marvels of science, max charles emmanuel champion de nansouty, max de nansouty, monochrome, neon lighting, no-one, nobody, physics, spark lamp, technological, technology

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