Take a pipe--a common clay one costing one cent--and balance it carefully on the edge of a goblet, so that it will oscillate freely at the least touch, like the beam of a scales. This being done, say to your audience: "Here is a pipe placed on the edge of a goblet; now the question is to make it fall without touching it, without blowing against it, without touching the glass, without agitating the air with a fan, and without moving the supporting table"

Experiment In Static Electricity 363 10a


The problem thus proposed may be solved by means of electricity. Take a goblet like the one that supports the pipe, and rub it briskly against your coat sleeve, so as to electrify the glass through friction. Having done this, bring the goblet to within about a centimeter of the pipe stem. The latter will then be seen to be strongly attracted, and will follow the glass around and finally fall from its support.

This curious experiment is a pretty variation of the electric pendulum; and it shows that pipe-clay--a very bad conductor of electricity--favors very well the attraction of an electrified body.

Tumblers or goblets are to be found in every house, and a clay pipe is easily procured anywhere. So it would be difficult to produce manifestations of electricity more easily and at less expense than by the means here described.--La Nature.