An early electrostatic generator - specifically a Ramsden Friction Machine, invented 1768 - that uses contact electrification of a glass plate produced by spinning it with a hand crank against material (chamois leather) to draw a charge. Suitable charge storage devices in the form of Leyden jars and an insulated platform are shown in the background. Also the corked bottle is a "Pistolet de Volta" (Volta's pistol), which holds explosive gases to be ignited by a spark which pases into the jar from the electrode on the outside - producing a bang from the ejected cork. Illustration from an 1830's encyclopedia by Guerin.
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