In preparation for posting the first episode, I’ve compiled a list of all the sources (scholarly and not) that I used to put it together, and that got me thinking that I should probably clarify how I feel about sources and citing things and the internet in general. In a nutshell: it’s super important and not that hard and everyone should be doing more of it. I’ve seen plenty of snappy videos on YouTube that explain a topic in a new and awesome way, but then don’t tell you how they know what they’re talking about – and that drives me crazy! I don’t want you to take my word for anything. I’m just a person with an interest, and I’ve put some time into reading up about the stuff that intrigues me. I see no reason why I shouldn’t tell you where I got that information, and I’d be happy to be fact-checked too (well, not happy exactly, since I’ve really tried here, but you know what I mean). So here goes:
- Experiments and Observations on Electricity, Made at Philadelphia in America, by Benjamin Franklin (1769)
- Essai sur l’électricité des corps, by Abbé Jean-Antoine Nollet (French, 1746)
- Electricity in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: A Study of Early Modern Physics, by J. L. Heilbron (1979)
- “Poor Richard’s Leyden Jar: Electricity and economy in Franklinist France,” by Jessica Riskin (1998 – Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences)
- “Primer: Dufay and Nollet” – An entry by Will Thomas in his blog, Ether Wave Propaganda discusses the difficulty of early electrical experiments and the rivalry between Franklin and Nollet
- The SparkMuseum is an online collection of images and resources from the personal collection of John Jenkins
- As always, Wikipedia is an excellent place to look for relevant information and (sometimes more importantly) other sources. Check out the entries for: Leyden Jar, Benjamin Franklin, Jean-Antoine Nollet, Triboelectric Effect, Electric Charge
I’ve also tried really hard to only use images that are in the public domain (or failing that, to cite them properly), and here’s where I’ve found them:
- Title page and figure from Nollet’s Essai
- “Electric Boy”: from “William Watson’s 1748 work”
- Franklin & his kite: Currier & Ives. “Franklin’s experiment, June 1752: Demonstrating the identity of lightning and electricity, from which he invented the lightning rod.” Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.
- Nollet and the Guardsmen: Engraving by H. Valentin in Louis Figuier, ‘Les grandes Inventions‘
- Electric Machine: Louis Figuier, ‘Les merveilles de la science’
- Leyden jar cutaway
- Electric Kiss
- Effluent streams: 2nd ed. of Nollet’s Essai (also reprinted clearly in Heilbron, p.283)
- Cartoons: I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Jorge Cham (the creator of PHD Comics) on a variety of projects, and he graciously agreed to illustrate a few of the concepts in this video with his catchy cartoons – including my new cartoon alter ego, which I love!
That’s it! Stay tuned for the actual episode soon.