It is probably well known that if you rub your feet briskly over a carpet on a dry, cold day and then touch any metallic object with your finger it will emit a small spark. The following amusing experiment may be done on the same principle:

To Light A Gaslight Without Matches 699

Take any small piece of wire about 2 in. long and twist it around a gas burner as shown at A in the sketch. Have the tip of the burner about 1/8 in. below the end of the wire. The wire must be just far enough away from the center of the burner to keep it out of the flame, or else it will melt.

Now get a friend to turn on the gas when you are ready for it. Go around the room once or twice rubbing your feet along the carpet. When you come around to the gaslight touch the point of the wire and if the gas is turned on, the light will flare right up as if it had been lit with a match.

This experiment cannot be done on a damp day or without shoes, and works best in cold weather. --Contributed by E. H. Klipstein.