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First spark between human bodies

First spark between human bodies

C009/5625

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Credit

SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The first recorded electric spark passing between two human bodies in 1745. A boy is suspended by silk ropes. An electrostatic charge is applied to his body by means of a charged glass rod. Small pieces of gold foil on a table below him are attracted to his hands by induction. The lady to the left stretches her finger towards his nose and a spark passes between them. The electrostatic charge on the boy's body is dissipated and the gold foil falls back to the table.During the 18th century there was huge interest in electrical studies in England, France and Germany, particularly after the Leyden Jar was invented in 1745. Notable contributions were made by Boze, Watson, Hauksbee, Hausen, Winkler. Gordon, Franklin, Abbe Nollet. Dufay and others. Abbe Nollet recorded his and Dufay's astonishment when they first observed a spark passing between two humans.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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