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Battery, part of electrical demonstration apparatus

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made in England

Battery, part of electrical demonstration apparatus
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This battery, formed by six Leiden jars, stored static electrical charge until required. The Leiden jar may (or may not) have been invented in Leiden in the Netherlands at some point during the eighteenth century. Sometimes it is spelled 'Leyden' jar. This example is unsigned, but was probably made in England.

A battery consists of a number of Leiden jars - in this instance, six - contained in a wooden box which is lined with tinfoil to ensure a good condition between their outer coatings, while their inner coatings are connected by brass rods. They are charged by connecting the inner coatings of tinfoil with the conductor of a friction machine.

The most common Leiden jar arrangement had been developed by the early 1760s and remained in use until the early 20th century. The wide-necked, purpose-made clear glass jars were coated with tinfoil inside and out. A thick, central brass discharging rod was set into a turned, tight-fitting mahogany lid, terminating in a brass chain making contact with the inner tinfoil coating.

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