Electrical Fire! A Course of Experiments Performed for the Curious in the Philosophy Chamber 1775


Friday, October 13, 2017, 2:00pm


Science Center Lecture Hall D


Ever wonder what it was like to attend Harvard College in the mid-1700s? Join Harvard’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments to recreate some 18th century electrical experiments straight out of the lecture notes of Professor John Winthrop and the demonstrations at Faneuil Hall by Ebenezer Kinnersley, Benjamin Franklin’s friend. Witness the surprising effects of electrical attraction and repulsion! A fire lit by water! Bells rung by an invisible, imponderable fluid! And a warning to all who do not have lightning rods: the blowing up of the Thunder House!

Experiments will be performed with vintage and replica instruments by Sara Schechner and Daniel Rosenberg. Rare 18th-century apparatus from the Philosophy Chamber (preserved by the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments) will be on exhibit during and after the lecture.

Sponsored by the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, USW30: Tangible Things: Harvard Collections in World History, the Harvard Art Museums, and the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

See also: Special Events