Stories from Physics for 11-14 14-16
During the eighteenth century, a craze for electrical demonstrations sprang up and itinerant lecturers toured fashionable salons showing off novel entertainments. Some of the strangest of these included:
- Stephen Gray’s Flying Boy − a young boy was suspended by silk threads from a wooden frame and charged. When the boy held out his hands, pieces of paper and chaff flew up from the floor.
- The Electrifying Venus − a female member of the audience stood on an insulated stool and was charged. When a male volunteer attempted to kiss her, he received a shock
- The Thunder House − a doll’s house which demonstrated the effects of lightning strikes and the protection offered by lightning conductors. Some houses were rigged with gunpowder to dramatise the effect of a strike on an ungrounded house.