A very popular demonstration
was to hang small boys by silk ropes and charge
them electrically. Their hair would stand on
end and sparks might fly to anyone who stood
near. In the background are two bells that would
ring under the influence of electricity. The
young girl also receives electrical charge.
Another popular demonstration was to let charge
build up in a young girl and invite members
of the audience to experience an 'electrical
The whole thing became 'the
latest trend,' and good money could be gained
by electrifying people in fair grounds. People
thought that being electrified was good for
In the picture above,
a man turns the handle on the machine which
turns a glass globe. The woman assistant holds
her hand against the spinning globe to 'produce'
static by the action of friction. The boy's
feet also appear to rub against the globe.
What happens when the boy and girl touch hands?
Why is the girl standing on a barrel? What is
the girl looking at?
Study the picture then try
our matching exercise.
the machine shown below was
designed and built a little later than the scene
above and for a much more serious study of electricity.