Electricity) as widely as it is diffused, and ppwerful and active as its agency is in all the operations of nature, is yet scarcely any better known in its causes and effects than it was six thousand years ago. Modern science has penetrated a step or two into the arcanum of its mystery, and the revelations have been as astonishing as they are beautiful. When Morse harnessed the lightning, and made it travel with the speed of light, as a common courier, a great and important first step was taken in the task of reducing this wonderful agent to man's purposes, and making it a useful servant to his wants. Much yet remains to be discovered, but the investigating mind sees in many of the manifestations of electricity, to what a variety of practical and useful purposes it may yet be applied. One of the most beautiful and curious experiments performed through its instrumentrlity which we have seen, is that ol lighting gas with the tip ot the finger. This experiment may be easily performed, and has been done by James Swaim, of this city, repeatedly, in connection with the beltings of the engine and shafting I of the press room, and it is far more astonishing than the spirit rappings, which are setting so many people crazy. Friction, it is well known, will produce electn/ity in certain substances, and the friction of a gutta percha or common leather working belt upon the flywheel or pulleys of a steam engine and shaftings produces it in considerable quantities.— If a person will insulate himself by standing upon a board fixed upon glass insulators— I common porter bottles would answer—and hold an iron bar or a number of iron spikes in his hand, their points almost touching the belt, he may, by extending the opposite hand to a gas-burner, light it with the tip of his finger as easily as with a match. He will feel a sensible shock pass through him, a pricking sensation in his finger joints, , and see a brilliant spark pass off with a crack-, ing sound to the gas-burner. The electric fluid will pass through several persons joining i hands, the same a%with an electric battery, and the last may fire the burner.— Philadel- phia Ledger.
This article was originally published with the title "Electricity, Curious and Beautiful Experiments"