Centre for History and Philosophy of Science logoUniversity of Leeds Logo



What people were saying about electricity

Here are further late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century writings about electricity:

“Before long we shall all be modern Aladdins, and summon our Slave of the Lamp as a matter of course. But there is plenty of scope for imagination in devising the form of his appearance, notwithstanding, and Mrs. GORDON’s book shows us how the Genius may be compelled to present himself in a variety of pleasing and fantastic shapes.” Punch’s review of Decorative Electricity (2 May 1891)

“Whether we consider the mysteries which still surround the simplest actions of this obedient servant, mysteries which have defied the searching enquiries of the subtlest intellects of our time; or turn to contemplate the marvellous range of its activities, from transmitting the feeblest whisper a thousand miles to whirling along the ponderous train on a railway; the human mind cannot but be lost in wonder and amazement, and must feel bound to confess that the servant, thought willing and obedient beyond the dreams of a the poet, still remains more mysterious and elusive than the magi and the spirits of the Arabian nights” R. Mullineux Walmsley, Electric Current, how produced and how used (1894)

“All boys and girls have been introduced to Aladdin in the Arabian Nights Tales, which, although not really ‘as old as the hills’, go back about one thousand years and probably further. You know the wonderful things Aladdin could do with the aid of his lamp, and the Wizard Electricity is not unlike Aladdin in that he can turn articles made of common metal into silver ones.” Charles Gibson, Our Good Slave Electricity (1915)

Previous 9 of 12 Next

Copyright and Legal | Accessibility | Privacy | Freedom of information
Copyright © 2010 University of Leeds