Static electricity experiment. The electric charge has been generated (by friction) on sticks of wax (in the experimenter's hands). The charge is being transmitted to a bird, and the attractive and repulsive forces are causing pieces of paper, ash and cork to levitate in the air. This illustration, part of a section titled 'Experiences de Physique sans Appareils' (illustrating popular physics experiments that don't require the use of laboratory equipment), is from 'Physique Populaire' (Emile Desbeaux, 1891).
Model release not required. Property release not required.