Hauksbee's frictional electricity machine, 1706-1708.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Reproduction. Francis Hauksbee (c 1666-1713) devised this machine while in London during the early part of the 18th century. It comprises of a glas globe from which most of the air has been removed. When the globe was rotated and a hand was placed on top of the globe, electricity was produced, often giving a strange glow. Hauksbee deduced that this was caused by electrical fluid.