Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
Portable globe electrical machine
    • Setting:
      Room XI
    • Maker:
      Edward Nairne
    • Place:
    • Date:
      ca. 1770
    • Materials:
      mahogany, brass, glass
    • Dimensions:
      total height 330 mm, glass globe 165 mm
    • Inventory:
    • Portable globe electrical machine (Inv. 444)

Frictional electrical machine made by Edward Nairne. There is a brass box with an endless screw and spur wheel so that the glass globe can be rotated at speed. The round leather cushion is attached to a flexible brass strip against which presses a screw to control the amount of friction. A G-clamp under the box secures the machine to a table. The separate prime conductor consists of a turned mahogany base and a thin brass cylinder with knobs at its ends and with a single collecting point to transfer electricity from the globe. This portable machine was fairly common in England in the closing decades of the eighteenth century. Provenance: Lorraine collections.