New experiments on electricity

Dublin Core


New experiments on electricity

New experiments on electricity: wherein the causes of thunder and lightning as well as the constant state of positive or negative electricity in the air or clouds, are explained : with experiments on clouds of powders and vapours artificially diffused in the air : also a description of a doubler of electricity, and of the most sensible electrometer yet constructed : with other new experiments and discoveries in the science : illustrated by explanatory plates


Atmospheric electricity --Early works to 1800.
Electricity --Early works to 1850.


This original copy was printed in 1789, the very plain design of the cover of the book with the rough uneven edges of the pages give the book a very notebook or journal like feel rather than a professionally printed book. Also the handwritten annotations in the margins from the original owner of the book significantly add to the historic notebook feel of the book.

It was written by Rev. Abraham Bennet who was a clergyman and natural philosopher, a very rare and interesting combination of professions for the time period. It was this book that established Bennet’s “reputation for science amongst the philosophers of all countries”. New Experiments in Electricity was a summary of all of his electrical work and experiments at the time. Two of his most important inventions, the gold-leaf electroscope and the doubler of electricity are discussed in great detail in the book with pull out diagrams showing how they were constructed and how they function. The book goes on to discuss the details of Bennet’s various experiments and the results of each. His best known experiment is also recorded in this book, the use of his invention; the gold-leaf electroscope to develop the concept of what he called Adhesive electricity. It is this experiment that would go on to inspire Alessandro Volta and lead to his formation of the contact theory.


Abraham Bennet


Derby [England] : Printed by J. Drewry,




Nathan Aultice









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Abraham Bennet, “New experiments on electricity ,” John T. and Agnes J. Gomatos Special Collections Room, accessed July 13, 2020,