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Course of Experiments

Philadelphia, April 11, 1751.

Notice is hereby given to the CURIOUS, That on Wednesday next, Mr. Kinnersley proposes to begin a Course of Experiments on the newly-discovered ELECTRICAL FIRE, containing not only the most curious of those that have been made and published in Europe, but a considerable Number of new Ones lately made in this City; to be accompanied with methodical LECTURES on the Nature and Properties of that wonderful Element, viz.


I. Of Electricity in General, giving some Account of the Discovery of it.

II. That the Electric Fire is a real Element, and different from those heretofore known and named, and collected out of other Matter (not created) by the Friction of Glass, &c.

III. That it is an extreamly subtile Fluid.

IV. That it doth not take up any perceptible Time in passing thro’ large Portions of Space.

V. That it is intimately mixed with the Substance of all the other Fluids and Solids of our Globe.

VI. That our Bodies at all Times contain enough of it to set a House on Fire.

VII. That tho’ it will fire inflammable Matters, itself has no sensible Heat.

VIII. That it differs from common Matter in this; Its Parts do not mutually attract, but mutually repel each other.

IX. That it is strongly attracted by all other Matter.

X. An artificial Spider, animated by the Electric Fire, so as to act like a live One.

XI. A perpetual Shower of Sand, which rises again as fast as it falls.

XII. That common Matter in the form of Points attracts this Fire more strongly than in any other Form.

XIII. A Leaf of the most weighty of Metals suspended in the Air, as is said of Mahomet‘s Tomb.

XIV. An Appearance like Fishes swimming in the Air.

XV. That this Fire will live in Water, a River not being sufficient to quench the smallest Spark of it.

XVI. A Representation of the Sensitive Plant.

XVII. A Representation of the seven Planets, shewing a probable Cause of their keeping their due Distances from each other, and from the Sun in the Center.

XVIII. The Salute repulsed by the Ladies Fire; or Fire darting from a Lady’s Lips, so that she may defy any Person to salute her.

XIX. Eight musical Bells rung by an electrified Phial of Water.

XX. A Battery of eleven Guns discharged by Fire issuing out of a Person’s Finger.


I. A Description and Explanation of Mr. Muschenbroek‘s wonderful Bottle.

II. The amazing Force of the Electric Fire in passing thro’ a Number of Bodies at the same Instant.

III. An Electric Mine sprung.

IV. Electrified Money, which scarce any Body will take when offer’d to them.

V. A Piece of Money drawn out of a Persons Mouth in spite of his Teeth; yet without touching it, or offering him the least Violence.

VI. Spirits kindled by Fire darting from a Lady’s Eyes (without a Metaphor.)

VII. Various Representations of Lightning, the Cause and Effects of which will be explained by a more probable Hypothesis than has hitherto appeared, and some useful Instructions given how to avoid the Danger of it: How to secure Houses, Ships, &c. from being hurt by its destructive Violence.

VIII. The Force of the Electric Spark making a fair Hole thro’ a Quire of Paper.

IX. Metal melted by it (tho’ without any Heat) in less than the thousandth Part of a Minute.

X. Animals killed by it instantaneously (if any of the Company desire it, and will be pleased to send some for that Purpose.)

XI. Air issuing out of a Bladder set on Fire by a Spark from a Person’s Finger, and burning like a Volcano.

XII. A few Drops of electrified cold Water let fall on a Person’s Hand, supplying him with Fire sufficient to kindle a burning Flame with one of the Fingers of his other Hand.

XIII. A Sulphureous Vapour kindled into Flame by Fire issuing out of a cold Apple.

XIV. A curious Machine acting by means of the Electric Fire, and playing Variety of Tunes on eight musical Bells.

XV. A Battery of eleven Guns discharged by a Spark, after it has passed thro’ ten Foot of Water.

As the Knowledge of Nature tends to enlarge the human Mind, and give us more noble, more grand and exalted Ideas of the AUTHOR of Nature, and if well pursu’d seldom fails producing something useful to Man, ’tis hoped these Lectures may be thought worthy of Regard and Encouragement.

Tickets to be had at Mr. Kinnersley‘s House in Arch-street, Price Seven Shillings and Six-pence for each Person to go thro’ the Course. The Lectures to begin precisely at 4 in the Afternoon of each Day, in the same Room Mr. Dove lately used for his Course of Natural Philosophy.

Note, the Experiments succeed best when the Air is dry.

The Pennsylvania Gazette, April 11, 1751