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2. To take the charged phial safely by the hook, and not at the same time diminish its force, it must first be set down on an electric per se.
3. The phial will be electrified as strongly, if held by the hook, and the coating applied to the globe or tube; as when held by the coating, and the hook applied.*
4. But the direction of the electrical fire, being different in the charging, will also be different in the explosion. The bottle charged through the hook, will be discharged through the hook; the bottle charged through the coating, will be discharged through the coating; and not otherways; for the fire must come out the same way it went in.
5. To prove this, take two bottles that were equally charged through the hooks, one in each hand; bring their hooks near each other, and no spark or shock will follow; because each hook is disposed to give fire, and neither to receive it. Set one of the bottles down on glass, take it up by the hook, and apply its coating to the hook of the other; then there will be an explosion and shock, and both bottles will be discharged.
6. Vary the experiment, by charging two phials equally, one through the hook, the other through the coating; hold that by the coating which was charged through the hook, and that by the hook which was charged through the coating; apply the hook of the first to the coating of the other, and there will be no shock or spark. Set that down on glass which you held by the hook, take it up by the coating, and bring the two hooks together; a spark and shock will follow, and both phials be discharged.
* This was a discovery of the very ingenious Mr. Kinncrsley, and by him communicated to me.
In this experiment the bottles are totally discharged, or the equilibrium within them restored. The abounding of fire in one of the hooks (or rather in the internal surface of one bottle) being exactly equal to the wanting of the other; and therefore, as each bottle has in itself the abounding as well as the wanting, the wanting and abounding must be equal in each bottle. See ^ 8, 9, 10, 11. But if a man holds in his hands two bottles, one fully electrified, the other not at all, and brings their hooks together, he has but half a shock, and the bottles will both remain half electrified, the one being half discharged, and the other half charged.
7. Place two phials equally charged on a table, at five or six inches distance. Let a cork ball, suspended by a silk thread, hang between them. If the phials were both charged through their hooks, the cork, when it has been attracted and repelled by the one, will not be attracted, but equally repelled by the other. But, if the phials were charged, the one through the hook, and the other through the coating,* the ball, when it is repelled from one hook, will be as strongly attracted by the other, and play vigorously between them, fetching the electric fluid from the one, and delivering it to the other, till both phials are nearly discharged.
8. When we use the terms of charging and discharging the phial, it is in compliance with custom, and for want of others more suitable. Since we are of opinion, that there is really no more electrical fire in the phial after what is called its charging, than before, nor less after its discharging; excepting only the small spark
• To charge a bottle commodiously through the coating, place it on a glass stand; form a communication from the prime conductor to the coating, and another from the hook to the wall or floor. When it is charged, remove the latter communication before you take hold of the bottle, otherwise great part of the fire will escape by it.
that might be given to, and taken from, the non-electric matter, if separated from the bottle, which spark may not be equal to a five-hundredth part of what is called the explosion.
For if, on the explosion, the electrical fire came out of the bottle by one part, and did not enter in again by another, then, if a man, standing on wax, and holding the bottle in one hand, takes the spark by touching the wire hook with the other, the bottle being thereby discharged, the man would be charged; or whatever fire was lost by one, would be found in the other, since there was no way for its escape; but the contrary is true.
9. Besides, the phial will not suffer what is called a charging, unless as much fire can go out of it one way, as is thrown in by another. A phial cannot be charged standing on wax or glass, or hanging on the prime conductor, unless a communication be formed between its coating and the floor.
10. But suspend two or more phials on the prime conductor, one hanging on the tail of the other; and a wire from the last to the floor, an equal number of turns of the wheel shall charge them all equally, and every one as much as one alone would have been; what is driven out at the tail of the first, serving to charge the second; what is driven out of the second charging the third; and so on. By this means a great number of bottles might be charged with the same labor, and equally high, with one alone; were it not that every bottle receives new fire, and loses its old with some reluctance, or rather gives some small resistance to the charging, which in a number of bottles becomes more equal to the charging power, and so repels the fire back again on the globe, sooner in proportion than a single bottle would do.
11. When a bottle is charged in the common way, its inside and outside surfaces stand ready, the one to give fire by the hook, the other to receive it by the coating; the one is full and ready to throw out, the other empty and extremely hungry; yet, as the first will not give out, unless the other can at the same instant receive in, so neither will the latter receive in, unless the first can at the same instant give out. When both can be done at once, it is done with inconceivable quickness and violence.
12. So a straight spring (though the comparison does not agree in every particular), when forcibly bent, must, to restore itself, contract that side which in the bending was extended, and extend that which was contracted; if either of these two operations be hindered, the other cannot be done. But the spring is not said to be charged with elasticity when bent, and discharged when unbent; its quantity of elasticity is always the same.
13. Glass, in like manner, has within its substance always the same quantity of electrical fire, and that a very great quantity in proportion to the mass of glass, as shall be shown hereafter.
14. This quantity, proportioned to the glass, it strongly and obstinately retains, and will have neither more nor less, though it will suffer a change to be made in its parts and situation; that is, we may take away part of it from one of the sides, provided we throw an equal quantity into the other.
15. Yet, when the situation of the electrical fire is thus altered in the glass; when some has been taken from one side, and some added to the other, it will not be at rest, or in its natural state, till it is restored to its original equality. And this restitution cannot be made through the substance of the glass, but must be done by a non-electric communication formed without, from surface to surface.
16. Thus, the whole force of the bottle, and power of giving a shock, is in the glass itself; the nonelectrics in contact with the two surfaces, serving only to give and receive to and from the several parts of the glass; that is, to give on one side, and take away from the other.
17. This was discovered here in the following manner; purposing to analyze the electrified bottle, in order to find wherein its strength lay, we placed it on glass, and drew out the cork and wire, which for that purpose had been loosely put in. Then taking the bottle in one hand, and bringing a finger of the other near its mouth, a strong spark came from the water, and the shock was as violent as if the wire had remained in it, which showed that the force did not lie in the wire. Then, to find if it resided in the water, being crowded into and condensed in it, as confined by the glass, which had been our former opinion, we electrified the bottle again, and, placing it on glass, drew out the wire and cork as before; then, taking up the bottle, we decanted all its water into an empty bottle, which likewise stood on glass; and taking up that other bottle, we expected, if the force resided in the water, to find a shock from it; but there was none. We judged then, that it must either be lost in decanting, or remain in the first bottle. The latter we found to be true; for that bottle on trial gave the shock, though filled up as it stood with fresh unelectrified water from a tea-pot. To find, then, whether glass had this property merely as glass, or whether the form contributed any thing to it, we took a pane of sash-glass, and, laying it on the hand, placed a plate of lead on its upper surface; then electrified that plate, and bringing a finger to it, there was a spark and shock. We then took two plates of lead of equal dimensions, but less
Vol. v. 26