Fulminating tubes by George Adams

1772-1795 in Fleet Street
George Adams

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Electric chimes, 1780s. Electric chimes were a common feature of 18th century lecture courses. These were probably made
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Fulminating tubes probably made by George Adams (the Younger), Fleet Street, London, 1772-1795.

This apparatus was used in demonstrations of statc electricity. When the top of the central rod is charged, a spark will jump to one of the fulminating rods which will be passed down through the metallic spiral inside the tubes. If the two spheres attached to the central rod are rotated and both kept charged, each fulminating tube will light up when one of the spheres passes by. George Adams the Younger made instruments for King George III and the then Prince of Wales (the future King George IV). He described this device as a 'most beautiful species of illumination'.


King George III
Object Number:
boxwood, brass, copper, glass, mahogany, paper (fibre product), steel (metal) and tinfoil
demonstration equipment
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
King's College, London

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