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Collections: Dawn of the Electrical Age (1600-1800)

Scintillating Tubes

Scintillating Tubes

Scintillating tubes were a popular form of electric entertainment throughout the 18th and even 19th centuries.  A line of small foil diamonds or discs spiraling down a hand-blown glass tube, with only a small space separating the pieces.  A dramatic electric display of sparkling light is created when a static charge is applied to the brass ball finial atop the tube -  the charge spirals down the path of tin-foil diamonds, creating a bright spark at the union of each piece.

Shown: Assortment of scintillating tubes and globe. c. q1 19th century

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