. Going Public

Michael Brian Schiffer

in Draw the Lightning Down

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780520238022
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939851 | DOI:
. Going Public

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This chapter demonstrates that, in writings and public lectures, disseminators brought electrical technology to the attention of people outside electrophysics. It also pays attention to the most common, significant, or memorable inventions. The chapter first explores the use of demonstration devices in college lectures. Teachers looking to lecture about electricity in their general physics courses could obtain guidance from many written sources, including standard physics textbooks and electrical experiment books. The demonstration devices offered by instrument makers continued to increase in the eighteenth century. There are hints that, by the end of the eighteenth century, electrical demonstrations had reached into schools below the college level. Apart from the electrical machine itself, demonstration devices often drew on nonelectrical technologies or activities that were probably familiar to spectators. Lectures on electricity were quite popular in the colonies. After surveying the offerings of instrument makers, lectures took the next step and acquired electrical systems.

Keywords: writings; public lectures; disseminators; electrical systems; electrophysics; college lectures; electrical demonstrations devices; electrical machine

Chapter.  9204 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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