Electrical Machine

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“The electrical machine most usually employed consists of a large circular plate of glass, mounted upon a metallic axis, and supported upon pillars fixed to a secure base, so that the plate can, by means of a handle, w, be turned with ease. Upon the supports of the glass, and fixed so as to press easily but uniformly on the plate, are four rubbers, marked r r r r in the figure; and flaps of silk, s s, oiled on one side, are attached to these, and secured to fixed supports by several silk cords. When the machine is put in motion, these flaps of silk are drawn tightly against the glass, and thus the friction is increased, and electricity excited. The points p p collect the electricity from the glass, and convey it to the conductor, c, which is supported by the glass rod g.” —Wells, 1857


David A. Wells The Science of Common Things; A Familiar Explanation of the First Principles of Physical Science277


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