Electricity for Boys

Produced by Joe Longo and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net

WARNING: This book of one hundred years ago describes
experiments which are too dangerous to attempt by either
adults or children. It is published for historical
interest only.

The “How-to-do-it” Books




A working guide, in the successive steps of electricity, described in simple terms


By J. S. ZERBE, M.E.



Printer's Mark: NYBC/Windmill


New York

Copyright, 1914, by

p. i


 IntroductoryPage 1
I.Electricity Considered. Brief Historical EventsPage 5

The Study of Electricity. First Historical Accounts. Bottling Electricity. Discovery of Galvanic Electricity. Electro-motive Force. Measuring Instruments. Rapidity of Modern Progress. How to Acquire the Vast Knowledge. The Means Employed.

II.What Tools and Apparatus are NeededPage 11

Preparing the Workshop. Uses of Our Workshop. What to Build. What to Learn. Uses of the Electrical Devices. Tools. Magnet-winding Reel.

III.Magnets, Coils, Armatures, Etc.Page 18

The Two Kinds of Magnets. Permanent Magnets. Electro-Magnets. Magnetism. Materials for Magnets. Non-magnetic Material. Action of a Second Magnet. What North and South Pole Mean. Repulsion and Attraction. Positives and Negatives. Magnetic Lines of Force. The Earth as a Magnet. Why the Compass Points North and South. Peculiarity of a Magnet. Action of the Electro-Magnet. Exterior Magnetic Influence Around a Wires Carrying a Current. Parallel Wires.

IV.Frictional, Voltaic or Galvanic and Electro-magnetic ElectricityPage 29

Three Electrical Sources. Frictional Electricity. Leyden p. iiJar. Voltaic or Galvanic Electricity. Voltaic Pile; How Made. Plus and Minus Signs. The Common Primary Cell. Battery Resistance. Electrolyte and Current. Electro-magnetic Electricity. Magnetic Radiation. Different Kinds of Dynamos. Direct Current Dynamos. Simple Magnet Construction. How to Wind. The Dynamo Fields. The Armature. Armature Windings. Mounting the Armature. The Commutator. Commutator Brushes. Dynamo Windings. The Field. Series-wound Field. Shunt-wound. Compound-wound.

V.How to Detect and Measure ElectricityPage 49

Measuring Instruments. The Detector. Direction of Current. Simple Current Detector. How to Place the Detector. Different Ways to Measure a Current. The Sulphuric Acid Voltameter. The Copper Voltameter. The Galvanoscope Electro-magnetic Method. The Calorimeter. The Light Method. The Preferred Method. How to Make a Sulphuric Acid Voltameter. How to Make a Copper Voltameter. Objections to the Calorimeter.

VI.Volts, Amperes, Ohms and WattsPage 60

Understanding Terms. Intensity and Quantity. Voltage. Amperage Meaning of Watts and Kilowatt. A Standard of Measurement. The Ampere Standard. The Voltage Standard. The Ohm. Calculating the Voltage.

VII.Push Buttons, Switches, Annunciators, Bells and Like ApparatusPage 65

Simple Switches. A Two-Pole Switch. Double-Pole Switch. Sliding Switch. Reversing Switch. Push Buttons. p. iiiElectric Bells. How Made. How Operated. Annunciators. Burglar Alarm. Wire Circuiting. Circuiting System with Two Bells and Push Buttons. The Push Buttons, Annunciators and Bells. Wiring Up a House.

VIII.Accumulators, Storage or Secondary BatteriesPage 82

Storing Up Electricity. The Accumulator. Accumulator Plates. The Grid. The Negative Pole. Connecting Up the Plates. Charging the Cells. The Initial Charge. The Charging Current.

IX.The TelegraphPage 90

Mechanism in Telegraph Circuit. The Sending Key. The Sounder. Connecting Up the Key and Sounder. Two Stations in Circuit. The Double Click. Illustrating the Dot and the Dash. The Morse Telegraph Code. Example in Use.

X.High-tension Apparatus, Condensers, Etc.Page 98

Induction. Low and High Tension. Elastic Property of Electricity. The Condenser. Connecting up a Condenser. The Interrupter. Uses of High-tension Coils.

XI.Wireless TelegraphyPage 104

Telegraphing Without Wires. Surging Character of High-tension Currents. The Coherer. How Made. The Decoherer. The Sending Apparatus. The Receiving Apparatus. How the Circuits are Formed.

XII.The TelephonePage 110

Vibrations. The Acoustic Telephone. Sound Waves. p. ivHearing Electricity. The Diaphragm in a Magnetic Field. A Simple Telephone Circuit. How to Make a Telephone. Telephone Connections. Complete Installation. The Microphone. Light Contact Points. How to Make a Microphone. Microphone, the Father of the Transmitter. Automatic Cut-outs for Telephones. Complete Circuiting with Transmitters.

XIII.Electrolysis, Water Purification, ElectroplatingPage 123

Decomposing Liquids. Making Hydrogen and Oxygen. Purifying Water. Rust. Oxygen as a Purifier. Composition of Water. Common Air Not a Good Purifier. Pure Oxygen a Water Purifier. The Use of Hydrogen in Purification. Aluminum Electrodes. Electric Hand Purifier. Purification and Separation of Metals. Electroplating. Plating Iron with Copper. Direction of Current.

XIV.Electric Heating. Thermo-ElectricityPage 135

Generating Heat in a Wire. Resistance of Substances. Signs of Connectors. Comparison of Metals. A Simple Electric Heater. How to Arrange for Quantity of Current Used. An Electric Iron. Thermo-Electricity Converting Heat Directly into Electricity Metals. Electric, Positive, Negative. Thermo-electric Coupler.

XV.Alternating Currents, Choking Coil, TransformerPage 145

Direct Current. Alternating Current. The Magnetic Field. Action of a Magnetized Wire. The Movement of a Current in a Charged Wire. Current Reversing Itself. Self-Induction. Brushes in a Direct Current Dynamo: p. vAlternating, Positive and Negative Poles. How an Alternating Current Dynamo is Made. The Windings. The Armature Wires. Choking Coils. The Transformer. How the Voltage is Determined. Voltage and Amperage in Transformers.

XVI.Electric LightingPage 161

Early conditions. Fuels. Reversibility of Dynamo. Electric arc. Mechanism to maintain the arc. Resistance coil. Parallel carbons for making arc. Series current. Incandescent system. Multiple circuit. Subdivision of electric light. The filament. The glass bulb. Metallic filaments. Vapor lamps. Directions for improvements. Heat in electric lighting. Curious superstitions concerning electricity. Magnetism. Amber. Discovery of the properties of a magnet. Electricity in mountain regions. Early beliefs as to magnetism and electricity. The lightning rod. Protests against using it. Pliny’s explanation of electricity.

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