Collections: Dawn of the Electrical Age (1600-1800)
By Joseph Wightman
Originally three small paper birds were attached by threads to
the electrode of the jar. When the jar was charged, the
static electricity made the birds seem to fly into the air.
When the sportsmen's rifle touched the jar's electrode, the jar discharged - the resulting spark sounding something like a small rifle shot - and the birds fell, hanging from their threads at the side of the jar. American, c. 1840s.