The Leyden Phial

The first electrical capacitor, invented at Leyden University in Holland in 1745, meant the ability to accumulate static electricity and led to more sophisticated electricity generators. 

Engraved diagram of the Leyden Phial

The first electrical capacitor, invented at Leyden University in Holland in 1745, meant the ability to accumulate static electricity and led to more sophisticated electricity generators. 

Its facilitated more detailed studies into electricity that resulted in the understanding that currents follow the path of least resistance, the human body acts as a conductor and Benjamin Franklin's theory of positive and negative electrification. 

The Leyden phial's shocking effect, seen as a sudden passage of 'electrical fire' through the body, provided great stimulus to the notion of the medical application of electricity.

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