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The Electrified Cotton

Take a small lock of cotton, extended in every direction as much as

can conveniently be done, and by a linen thread about five or six

inches long, or by a thread drawn out of the same cotton, tie it to

the end of the prime conductor; then set the machine in motion, and

the lock of cotton, on being electrified, will immediately swell, by

repelling its filaments from one another, and will stretch itself

towards the neare
t conductor. In this situation let the cylinder be

kept in motion, and present the end of your finger, or the knob of a

wire, towards the lock of cotton, which will then immediately move

towards the finger, and endeavour to touch it; but take with the

other hand a pointed needle, and present its point towards the cotton,

a little above the end of the finger, and the cotton will be observed

immediately to shrink upwards, and move towards the prime conductor.

Remove the needle, and the cotton will come again towards the finger.

Present the needle, and the cotton will shrink again.