“One kernel is felt in a hogshead; one drop of water helps to swell the ocean; a spark of fire helps to give light to the world. None are too small, too feeble, too poor to be of service. Think of this and act.” — Hannah More
Sparks come in all sizes. There are the wondrous, tiny sparks that leap to tickle our fingertips at the touch of a doorknob when we’ve crossed a scrap of carpet in the rather mundane expectation of reaching another room.
There are the surprising little sparks that flicker between the giggling, kissing lips of lovers in a dark, dry place under just the right circumstances.
There are the long, bright sparks that fly from belt sanders smoothing down rough scraps of metal on the factory floor.
And then there are the bursting sparks that emerge from an electrostatic generator like the Wimshurst Machine.
Warning: it’s not a toy!
The Wimshurst Machine electrostatic generator was first developed in the 1880s by a fellow named James Wimshurst to generate high voltages of electricity. This is a reduced version of the device that demonstrates its principles on a smaller scale by way of a simple hand crank.
Features of the Wimshurst Machine Electrostatic Generator
- It’s made with thick acrylic discs that reduce the chance of wobbling.
- It’s got replaceable aluminum sectors.
- Its heavy duty, lined Leyden jar capacitors are made of aluminum.
- It’s high quality with replaceable parts.
- It measures 13″ x 8″ x 14″.
- It weighs five pounds.
Assembling This Wimshurst Machine Electrostatic Generator is Simple
After removing the machine from its shipping box, I would highly recommend that you read the safety instructions first. This little machine produces sparks of electrical power and should not be treated as a toy. Next, you must complete the assembly, which only requires attaching two belts and a single crank. Once completed, the sparks are ready to fly!
What makes the Wimshurst Machine electrostatic generator so cool is that you can feel the machine working. Once you start to crank a Wimshurst Machine, you can hear it crackle and hiss to life immediately. In addition, you can feel the hairs on your arms stand up and you’ll smell the distinctive scent of ozone.