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Nature volume 42, page 124 | Download Citation



THIS little book, which partakes somewhat of the nature of a trade catalogue, briefly describes and illustrates the construction and action of the Wimshurst machines made by the firm of King, Mendham, and Co., and of the accessory pieces of apparatus needed for use with these machines in performing the antiquated experiments so much in vogue with the dabbler in frictional electrical science. The study of high tension electricity is coming to the front so much just now, that it is a great pity Mr. Mendham has not utilized his opportunity better, and given to the class of readers for whom this book is intended some notion of the many instructive and easily performed experiments on the disruptive discharge, and on electrical oscillations, which we owe to Hertz, Lodge, and others. The only concessions made to modern discoveries are in the descriptions of apparatus to show the action of the electric discharge on smoke, and of the Thomson quadrant electrometer. The latter, however, had better have been left alone, for the description is too meagre to enable the action of the instrument to be appreciated, and the reader may be apt to imagine that the quadrants are intended to be connected up directly to the terminals of a Wimshurst machine. We need scarcely say this would be very hard on the instrument.

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