Extrait D'une lettre de M. Volta à M. Gren, sur l'électricité dite animale. Par Van Mons; Traduit de L'Allemand. (+) Seconde lettre. (+) Addition a la Lettre précédente.

Paris, Guillaume/Fuchs, An VI, ou 1797, AN VII (1799). Without wrappers..In: "Annales de Chimie, ou Recueil de Mémoires concernant la Chemie" Tome 23, 4. Cahier. Titlepage to vol. 23. + Tome 29, Cahier 1, Titlepage to tome 29. Stamp to verso of titlepages. Pp. (225-) 336 + pp. (1-) 112. (2 entire issues offered). Volta's letters: pp. 276-315, 1 folded engraved plate with 22 figs. + pp. 91-93.

First French edition of these 3 letters to Gren in which Volta described his last steps towards his groundbreaking construction of his famous "Pile". In the letters he established the first law governing an electrical fluid and he anticipated both Davy and Faraday.

"In 1796 Volta wrote three letters to Gren (published in German in Gren's N.J. der Physik). In THE FIRST he describes 'a very remarkable experiment'. A tin cup filled with soapy water, milk of lime, or better fairly strong alkaline ley, was held with one or both hands moistened witn ater, and the tip of the tongue dipped into the liquid. A sour taste was at once perceived by the tongue in contact with the alkaline liquid, which soon, changed into a salty and finally into a sharp alkaline taste. The acid taste was 'produced by the current of the electric fluid passing from the tin to thee alkaline liquer, from there to the tongue, then through the body to the layer of water and from there to the tin in a continous current..... In his SECOND LETTER Volta repeats this 'law' of the combination of three conductors. The mutual contact of silver and tin, for example, produces 'an action, a force, by means of which the first gives the electric fluid and the second receives it. If the circuit is completed by a humid concustor, a current or continous circulation of this fluid is set up in the direction indicated in the table (depicted on the attached plate)... In his THIRD LETTER Volta describes experiments in which plates of silver and zinc so smooth that they adhered on contact, polished, dry, and insulated, were brought in close contact, and separated by pulling them perpendicularly apart. They gave small deflections when applied directly to the electrometer...." (Partington "A History of Chemistry", Vol. IV, pp. 10-12).

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