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Experimental electricity set

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made in Dresden, Germany

Postcard of Experimental electricity set.
000-190-002-326-C
© National Museums Scotland

Experimental electricity set

This static electricity set was made around 1888 by Meiser and Mertig of Dresden in Germany, for educational purposes. It was retailed in Edinburgh by William Hume.

The set consists of a small, single-plate frictional electrical machine and accessories. It is shown with a booklet 'Experimental Physics', in which 120 exercises in static electricity are described. The set was priced at £1 10s (£1-50). Hume also retailed sets of galvanic (or chemical) electricity, acoustics and, in 1889, optics. All were made by the same Dresden company.

In the accompanying booklet, Hume wrote: 'In an age when Science ministers to use in so many ways, it is desirable that all classes should acquire a knowledge of its main principles.' However, this was clearly not a cheap toy when most Scots earned less than £30 a year.


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Online ID: 000-190-002-326-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1960.44 G
Date: Around 1888
c. 1888
c. 1888
c. 1888
c. 1888
c. 1888
c. 1888
c. 1888
Material: Ebonite
Glass plate
Glass with tinfoil coatings
Wood
Dimensions: 10.25" H
4.75" x 3.38" plate
5.00" H x 2.50" D
5.75" x 3.50"
6.00" L
8.00" plate D
What: Frictional electrical machine
Frictional electrical machine / discharger
Frictional electrical machine / induction cylinder
Frictional electrical machine / Leyden jar
Frictional electrical machine / motor, electrostatic
Frictional electrical machine / plate
Frictional electrical machine / plate / stand
Subject: 8. ELECTRICAL & ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING, Static (Departmental Classification)
22. PHYSICS, Magnetism and Electricity (Departmental Classification)
8. ELECTRICAL & ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING, Static (Departmental Classification)
22. PHYSICS, Magnetism and Electricity (Departmental Classification)
8. ELECTRICAL & ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING, Static (Departmental Classification)
22. PHYSICS, Magnetism and Electricity (Departmental Classification)
8. ELECTRICAL & ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING, Static (Departmental Classification)
22. PHYSICS, Magnetism and Electricity (Departmental Classification)
8. ELECTRICAL & ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING, Static (Departmental Classification)
22. PHYSICS, Magnetism and Electricity (Departmental Classification)
8. ELECTRICAL & ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING, Static (Departmental Classification)
22. PHYSICS, Magnetism and Electricity (Departmental Classification)
8. ELECTRICAL & ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING, Static (Departmental Classification)
22. PHYSICS, Magnetism and Electricity (Departmental Classification)
Who: Meiser and Mertig, Dresden (Maker)
Meiser and Mertig, Dresden (Maker)
Meiser and Mertig, Dresden (Maker)
Meiser and Mertig, Dresden (Maker)
Meiser and Mertig, Dresden (Maker)
Meiser and Mertig, Dresden (Maker)
Meiser and Mertig, Dresden (Maker)
William Hume, Edinburgh (Retailer)
William Hume, Edinburgh (Retailer)
William Hume, Edinburgh (Retailer)
William Hume, Edinburgh (Retailer)
William Hume, Edinburgh (Retailer)
William Hume, Edinburgh (Retailer)
William Hume, Edinburgh (Retailer)
William Hume, Lothian Street, Edinburgh (Vendor)
William Hume, Lothian Street, Edinburgh (Vendor)
William Hume, Lothian Street, Edinburgh (Vendor)
William Hume, Lothian Street, Edinburgh (Vendor)
William Hume, Lothian Street, Edinburgh (Vendor)
William Hume, Lothian Street, Edinburgh (Vendor)
William Hume, Lothian Street, Edinburgh (Vendor)
Where: Germany, Dresden
Germany, Dresden
Germany, Dresden
Germany, Dresden
Germany, Dresden
Germany, Dresden
Germany, Dresden
Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Event:
Description: Small frictional electrical machine by Meiser and Mertig of Dresden, retailed by William Hume of Edinburgh, c. 1888
Leyden jar, an accessory for a frictional electrical machine by Meiser and Mertig of Dresden, retailed by William Hume of Edinburgh, c. 1888
Wooden induction cylinder, an accessory for a frictional electrical machine by Meiser and Mertig of Dresden, retailed by William Hume of Edinburgh, c. 1888
Electrostatic motor with a six-knobbed rotor, an accessory for a frictional electrical machine by Meiser and Mertig of Dresden, retailed by William Hume of Edinburgh, c. 1888
Discharger, an accessory for a frictional electrical machine by Meiser and Mertig of Dresden, retailed by William Hume of Edinburgh, c. 1888
Ebonite plate with a stand, an accessory for a frictional electrical machine by Meiser and Mertig of Dresden, retailed by William Hume of Edinburgh, c. 1888
Glass plate with tinfoil coatings, an accessory for a frictional electrical machine by Meiser and Mertig of Dresden, retailed by William Hume of Edinburgh, c. 1888
References:
  • For a general discussion about the development of static electric machines, see W.D. Hackmann, Electricity from Glass: the History of the Frictional Electrical Machine 1600-1850, Alphen aan den Rijn, 1978. 
  • For William Hume and his business, see T.N. Clarke et al., Brass & Glass: Scientific Instrument Making Workshops in Scotland, Edinburgh, 1989, pp 132-137. 
  • William Hume, Experimental Physics. Part II Electricity: Static, with 120 Exercises, Edinburgh 1888. 
Translations:
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