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Electrical machine

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probably made in Aberdeen

Electrical machine
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This early 'frictional electrical machine' was made around 1820, probably by William Lunan, a watchmaker based in Aberdeen between around 1824 and 1833.

Static electricity is generated by the leather pad pressing against the revolving glass globe, which is turned by turning the handle.

In classical antiquity, the Greeks were aware that rubbed amber attracted small particles, and the word 'electricity' comes from the Greek for amber. In the early 18th century, apparatus was designed which evolved into the frictional electrical machine.

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