Electrical chimes and fulminating tubes, 1780s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
These electric chimes (left) were probably made by the younger George Adams, instrument maker to the king, for the Prince of Wales, later George IV. They use the same principle as the electric orrery: charge is made to stream from metal points creating an electric wind. In this case the wind turns the fly so that a bras clapper strikes the bells in turn, sounding the notes of an octave. The object on the right, also made by George Adams the Tounger, is a set of fulminating tubes. It consists of five rods with metal spangles, each with a bras knob on top, and bras bases through which they can be earthed. If the central rod, topped by two bras balls connected by a wire, is charged, and the balls are rotated, a spark will light up each tube as one of the balls pases it.