Electric lice



  • Six years before Benjamin Franklin's experience with kites and lightning, court electrician Abbé Nollet demonstrated electricity to Louis XV. Nollet lined up Carthusian monks to form a 900 foot line connected with iron wire. When the electrical current was passed through the wire, the monks jumped simultaneously. Nollet wrote: “The exclamations of surprise were simultaneous even though they came from two hundred mouths.” Before Nollet, Stephen Gray in 1720 used Charterhouse charity boys for electrical experiments. He would hang a boy with insulating cords, use rubber glass to electrify him and “draw sparks from his nose.” Swedish biologist Albercht von Haller had his electrified boys stand on pitch to insulate them. When a person approached, electricity would pass between the boy and the person. Both would experience a sharp pain. Source (p.63)


  • Lumberjacks in the 19th century had it hard. Here is an excerpt from Lumberjack Walker D. Wyman's diary from 1885: "One of the best ways to fool the lice was to turn your [long] underwear when you went to bed at night. The lice spent most of the night finding their way from the outside to the inside and didn't have much time left to do any biting." Source(p.70)

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good post! Rather short though...

chicamom85 said...

Those are great, the lumberjack one will stay with me for a while.

Anne

odd facts said...

anonymous: Yes, it is a bit short I suppose, but thank you, and thank you for visiting.

chicamom85: I got the hebbie-jebbies reading about it!

Ailurophile said...

Oops.. I wouldn't wanna be in those lumberjacks' shoes, or rather their shorts ;)

Fascinating post as always. Have a good week :)

odd facts said...

ailurophile: Thank you. Have a lovely week as well and thank you for visiting.

coopernicus said...

Those wacky scientists and their human electricity experiments...

For the lumberjacks...how about a shower???

thekingpin68 said...

'Lumberjacks in the 19th century had it hard. Here is an excerpt from Lumberjack Walker D. Wyman's diary from 1885: "One of the best ways to fool the lice was to turn your [long] underwear when you went to bed at night. The lice spent most of the night finding their way from the outside to the inside and didn't have much time left to do any biting."'

I will have to use that one.;)

odd facts said...

coopernicus: Shower? What is this thing you mention?

thekingpin68: I frequently try to work that quote into daily conversation.