Sunday, January 24, 2016

Electrical Experiments

G.E. Bonney - Electrical Experiments (1897)

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The last post was harmless amusements for children - this one is yet another in the line of nobody would give this to kids nowadays.  (Though when I was young we had Thingmakers - completely exposed and very hot plates that solidified liquid plastics.  We're mostly unscarred from the experiences.)

The purpose for this book is because "a large number of idle hours hang wearily on the hands of youths during the long winter evenings in country villages, which could be spent in profitable amusement if they only knew how to use easily-made electrical apparatus."  (Youths in cities apparently had other forms of amusements.)  So induction coils, electrolysis, magnetic suspension, vacuum tubes and a Gassiot Star Hand Rotator (never heard of it but seems to create streaks of light).  I wonder how much of this was ever actually done - did the author really expect youths to make an arc light?  Or maybe it's easier than I know.