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sensible warmth in the lame limbs that had received the stroke than in the others; and the next morning the patients usually related, that they had in the night felt a pricking sensation in the flesh of the paralytic limbs; and would sometimes show a number of small red spots, which they supposed were occasioned by those prickings. The limbs, too, were found more capable of voluntary motion, and seemed to receive strength. A man, for instance, who could not the first day lift the lame hand from off his knee, would the next day raise it four or five inches, the third day higher; and, on the fifth day was able, but with a feeble, languid motion, to take off his hat. These appearances gave great spirits to the patients, and made them hope a perfect cure; but I do not remember, that I ever saw any amendment after the fifth day; which the patients perceiving, and finding the shocks pretty severe, they became discouraged, went home, and in a short time relapsed; so that I never knew any advantage from electricity in palsies, that was permanent. And how far the apparent, temporary advantage might arise from the exercise in the patients' journey, and coming daily to my house, or from the spirits given by the hope of success, enabling them to exert more strength in moving their limbs, I will not pretend to say.

Perhaps some permanent advantage might have been obtained, if the electric shocks had been accompanied with proper medicine and regimen, under the direction of a skilful physician. It may be, too, that a few great strokes, as given in my method, may not be so proper as many small ones; since, by the account from Scotland of a case, in which two hundred shocks from a phial were given daily, it seems, that a perfect cure has been made. As to any uncommon strength supposed to be in the machine used in that case, I imagine it could have no share in the effect produced; since the

strength of the shock from charged glass is in proportion to the quantity of surface of the glass coated; so that my shocks from those large jars must have been much greater than any that could be received from a phial held in the hand.

I am, with great respect, Sir,

Your most obedient servant,



Electrical Apparatus. - Description of a Battery.

London, 28 April, 1758.


In pursuance of Mr. Winthrop's memorandum, which I lately received from you, through the hands of Mr. Mico, I have procured and delivered to him the following things, viz.

A mahogany case lined with lead, containing thirtyfive square glass bottles, in five rows, seven in a row.

A glass globe of the same size and kind with that I used at Philadelphia, and mounted in the same manner.

A large glass cylinder, mounted on an iron axis with brass caps; this form being most used here, and thought better than the globe, as a long, narrow cushion will electrify a greater surface at the same time.

The bottles have necks, which I think better than to be quite open; for so they would either be exposed to the dust and damp of the air, if they had no stoppers, or the stoppers would be too near together to admit of electrifying a single bottle, or row of bottles; there is only a little more difficulty in lining the inside with tinfoil, but that is chiefly got over by cutting it




into narrow strips, and guiding them in with a stick flat at one end, to apply the more conveniently to the pasted side of the glass. I would have coated them myself, if the time had not been too short. I send the tinfoil, which I got made of a proper breadth for the purpose; they should be coated nine inches high, which brings the coating just even with the edge of the case. The tinfoil is ten inches broad, which allows for lapping over the bottom.

I have bored the holes in all the stoppers for the communicating wires, provided all the wires, and fixed one or two to show the manner. Each wire, to go into a bottle, is bent so that the two ends go in and spring against the inside coating or lining. The middle of the wire goes up into the stopper, with an eye, through which the long communicating wires pass, that connect all the bottles in one row.

To form occasional communications with more rows, there must be, on the long wires of the second and fourth rows, four other movable wires, which I call cross-wires, about two inches and a half long, with a small ball of any metal about the size of a pistol-bullet at each end. The ball of one end is to have a hole through the middle, so that it may be slipped on the long wire; and one of these cross-wires is to be placed between the third and fourth bottles of the row at each end; and on each of the abovementioned rows, that is, two to each row, they must be made to turn easy on the wires, so that when you would charge only the middle row, you turn two of them back on the first, and two on the fifth row, then the middle row will be unconnected with the others. When you would charge more rows, you turn them forwards or backwards, so as to have the communication completed with just the number of rows you want.

The brass handles of the case communicate with the outside of the bottles, when you wish to make the electrical circuit.

I see, now I have wrote it, that the greatest part of this letter would have been more properly addressed to Mr. Winthrop himself;* but probably you will send it to him with the things, and that will answer the end. Be pleased to tender my best respects to him and the rest of the gentlemen of the College.

I am, with great esteem and regard, Sir,

Your most obliged humble servant,


P. S. I beg the College will do me the favor to accept a Virgil, which I send in the case, thought to be the most curiously printed of any book hitherto done in the world.t



On the Electricity of the Tourmalin.

Craven Street, 7 June, 1759.

I now return the smallest of your two tourmalins, with hearty thanks for your kind present of the other, which though I value highly for its rare and wonderful properties, I shall ever esteem it more for the friendship I am honored with by the giver.

At that time Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in Harvard University, for which institution the electrical apparatus described in this letter was designed. - EDITOR.

A copy of Baskerville's quarto edition of Virgil, printed the year before at Birmingham, and perhaps the most beautiful of the various works by which this celebrated type-founder and printer gained the praise of "uniting, in a singularly happy manner, the elegance of Plantin with the clearness of the Elzevirs." - EDITOR.

I hear that the negative electricity of one side of the tourmalin, when heated, is absolutely denied (and all that has been related of it ascribed to prejudice in favor of a system) by some ingenious gentlemen abroad, who profess to have made the experiments on the stone with care and exactness. The experiments have succeeded differently with me; yet I would not call the accuracy of those gentlemen in question. Possibly the tourmalins they have tried were not properly cut; so that the positive and negative powers were obliquely placed, or in some manner whereby their effects were confused, or the negative parts more easily supplied by the positive. Perhaps the lapidaries, who have hitherto cut these stones, had no regard to the situation of the two powers, but chose to make the faces of the stone where they could obtain the greatest breadth, or some other advantage in the form. If any of these stones, in their natural state, can be procured here, I think it would be right to endeavour finding, before they are cut, the two sides that contain the opposite powers, and make the faces there. Possibly, in that case, the effects might be stronger, and more distinct; for, though both these stones, that I have examined, have evidently the two properties, yet, without the full heat given by boiling water, they are somewhat confused; the virtue seems strongest towards one end of the face; and in the middle, or near the other end, scarce discernible; and the negative, I think, always weaker than the positive.

I have had the large one new cut, so as to make both sides alike, and find the changé of form has made no change of power, but the properties of each side remain the same as I found them before. It is now set in a ring in such a manner as to turn on an axis, that I may conveniently, in making experiments, come at both sides

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