Du galvanisme ou de la pile de Volta. Manuscript 12pp. c. 1800


Published by France, 1801
From Jeremy Norman's historyofscience (Novato, CA, U.S.A.)

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Electricity. Du Galvanisme ou de la Pile de Volta. Manuscript in French. [11.2]pp., small 4to., on 6 conjugate leaves, stitched. [France, c. 1800.] Lightly creased, a little browning, pinhole worming affecting 1 or 2 letters but entirely legible & very good. Manuscript, either a draft of an article or copy of an article, on Volta's pile and technical improvements to it, and medical applications of the pile. The manuscript is labeled "No. 20" in the upper left corner. There is some crossing out and interpolation of text, which suggests a draft for publication rather than a copy of a published article. In either case, the text is written in academic style, beginning with a brief history of the predecessors of Volta, and reference to follow-up work by Aldini, Humboldt, Wollaston, Davy, HallĒ, Monge, Fourcroi [sic], Biot, Thenard, Hauy and Gay-Lussac. Volta's pile is described in detail (2.2pp.), then improvements on it (5pp.), including a mention of Cruikshank. The effects of the pile on the body are then discussed (2.5pp.), notably muscular effects, effects on secretions, effects on the brain, and the skin. The main difference between the effect on the body of current from the pile and from the Leyden jar is stated, and a comparison of effects depending on the size of the pile is made. In conclusion, it is noted that either the pile or the Leyden jar is effective in paralyses, amauroses in an early state, partial deafness, accidental muteness, neuralgias, chronic rheumatic pain, suppression of menstruation, asphyxia, etc., and that the pile may be preferrable in paralysis of the facial nerve, loss of sensation, and amaurosis. See Rowbottom & Susskind 51, discussing early papers on the medical applications of Volta's pile, especially their summary of Grappengiesser's recommendations (1801, G-M 1988.1), which is similar in content and word order to the summary remarks in our manuscript. Bookseller Inventory # 17023

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Title: Du galvanisme ou de la pile de Volta. ...

Publisher: France

Publication Date: 1801

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