Anyone who remembers their Sunday School classes (or Indiana Jones films) will recall the Ark Of The Covenant (AOTC).
Have them make a chest of acacia wood – two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the chest to carry it. The poles are to remain in the rings of the ark; they are not to be removed.
Make an atonement cover of pure gold – two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. Make one cherub on one and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover.
Several people have noticed that this could equally well describe the construction of an extremely
large direct current (DC) capacitor with a spark gap mounted above. Some have gone further, and some have even got as far as building a working replica.
The author of that article has done a very good job of explaining how it all works. Just a shame that after all the careful work he did building a DC AOTC he then blew it up by forcing AC electricity through it!
More recently (since 1745), smaller version were called Leyden jars.
A Leyden jar, or Leiden jar, is a device that "stores" static electricity between two electrodes on the inside and outside of a glass jar. A Leyden jar typically consists of a glass jar with metal foil cemented to the inside and the outside surfaces, and a metal terminal projecting vertically through the jar lid to make contact with the inner foil. It was the original form of a capacitor (originally known as a "condenser").
The Leyden jar was used to conduct many early experiments in electricity, and its discovery was of fundamental importance in the study of electrostatics. The Leyden jar was the first means of storing an electric charge which then could be discharged at the experimenter's will. Leyden jars are still used in education to demonstrate the principles of electrostatics.
It made me wonder though. Given all the expertise in metallurgy in Britain:
- Are there any British legends that have any similarities?
- Could something similar have ever been made in Britain?