Electrostatic vane, part of electrical demonstration apparatus

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made in England

Postcard of Electrostatic vane, part of electrical demonstration apparatus.
© National Museums Scotland

Electrostatic vane, part of electrical demonstration apparatus

This electrostatic vane is part of an electrical demonstration apparatus (not shown). When placed close to a source of generated static electricity the vane spins around on top of its pillar. It is unsigned.

The vane is made entirely of brass, and because of its shape becomes charged so that the vane spins on its pivot.

Electrical demonstration items of this nature proved popular both as entertainment for the general public, and as educational illustration at schools.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-004-732-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1935.122
Date: Late 19th century
Material: Wooden base and cheeks, brass electrode, glass drum
Dimensions: 9.00" L x 6.00" D (drum)
What: Electrostatic machine
Subject: 8. ELECTRICAL & ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING, Static (Departmental Classification)
22. PHYSICS, Magnetism and Electricity (Departmental Classification)
Where: England
Description: Electrostatic machine of early pattern with wooden base and cheeks, brass electrode with points and glass drum, unsigned, English, late 19th century
  • For a general overview of static electrical apparatus at this time, see G.L'E. Turner, Nineteenth Century Scientific Instruments. London, 1983, esp. ch. 11, 'Electricity', pp 188-94 
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