Today, we have a new Past/Present post featuring images of electricity. The DC region was hit with a very powerful storm last week, and as a result, many are still without power a week later. It is easy to forget how often we rely on electricity in our everyday life, which can lead to a rude awakening when we are deprived of it.
Today’s older print was published in the late 18th century, a time when scientists such as Alessandro Volta, Luigi Galvani, Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, and many more were intently focused on electricity and it’s production and innate characteristics. The print is a composite of technical illustrations depicting various electrical machines, including Nicholson’s electrical doubler, used in experiments by Volta, and an old medical electrical machine, shown being used on a young girl.
The more recent print is lithograph published in the late 19th century. Printed by Monrocq, it was issued as part of a teaching poster series entitled “Mobilier et Materiel pour l’Enseignement.” This poster shows gas and electricity and their many uses, including powering street lamps, lighthouses, and the new incandescent light bulb. With the invention of a practical incandescent light bulb in the 1870s, lighting became one of the first publicly available applications of electrical power. Published ten years after this invention, the poster speaks to the speed in which electricity was encompassed into everyday life- both outside and inside the home.
Image on Left: Electrical Machines – Lee System of Electricity. Plate I. The machines drawn by Milne, Engraved by J.Lodge. The figures drawn by F.Blake, Engraved by W. Grainger & Co. Published according to Act of Parliament by C. Cooke, No. 17 Paternoster Row. Copper plate engraving, July 31, 1789.
Image on Right: O Gaz e a Electricidade. 536 B. Published by Les fils d’Emile Deyrolle, Paris. Printed by Monrocq. Lithograph with original hand color, c. 1880.
We hope all DC residents get their power back soon. in the meantime, we invite our blog followers, past customers , and neighbors to stop by the gallery for some free A/C- take an hour or two to cool off while browsing through our collection.