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Galvani's Apparatus
Galvani's Apparatus
Resource Typeimage
TitleGalvani's Apparatus
Coverage / Year1927 to 1937
DescriptionThis is a replica of Luigi Galvani's 1780 apparatus. It includes a frictional electrostatic machine, insulating stand, a Leyden jar (a glass bottle coated inside with tinfoil and having a brass rod connected to a knob passing through a cork) and frog legs.
InterpretationLuigi Galvani (1737-1798) was an Italian physician. While dissecting a frog in front of a classroom of students in 1780, his scalpel accidentally touched a nerve in the frog's leg. Nearby, an electrostatic machine with a charge already built up, discharged an electric spark. This spark passed through the scalpel and then through the frog's leg to the zinc plate underneath causing the frog to convulse violently. Galvani had accidentally discovered electric current. Assuming this reaction was caused by atmospheric charges, Galvani hung up frog legs from an iron trellis in his garden. When storm clouds passed overhead, he observed the same reaction he had observed in the classroom. Galvani was able to repeat these results indoors with two different metallic strips. These experiments caused great interest throughout Europe and stimulated laboratory study of electricity around the world. In fact the word 'galvanized' (the continuous flow of electricity) is derived from Galvani's name. Bauabstalt Modell and Apparatebau built this model of Galvani's Apparatus for the Museum of Science and Industry.
Lesson Plans / ThemesAmerican communities in history;
Learning Standards16 History; 10-12 Science; 13 Science, Technology and Society;
Author or CreatorGalvani, Luigi, 1737-1798
SourceDe Bono, Edward. Eureka! Illustrated History of Inventions from the Wheel to the Computer. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1974.
Subject / KeywordsElectrical experiments; Scientific experiments; Electricity; Electric current; Galvani, Luigi, 1737-1798
Collection PublisherMuseum of Science and Industry, Chicago;
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statement
Resource Identifier32.179
CONTENTdm file name85932151982002_GALVANIS.jpg
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