Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

"Section title: The Science of Frankenstein

August 3, 2017 at the Chemical Heritage Foundation Museum: A Slideshow

At the turn of the 19th century in Italy, Alessandro Volta and Luigi Galvani sparred over the physiological effects of electricity. Volta’s Pile (the first electrical battery) had new practical applications in chemistry and medicine where the followers of “Galvanism” felt that electric currents were the vital source of life.

The greatest proponent of this theory, Giovanni Aldini took the electro-medical experiments to the extreme, proposing that electric shocks could revive the dead. The macabre public experiments by Aldini and other “resurrectionists” would horrify audiences… and eventually inspire Mary Shelley’s famous story of the resurrected monster, Frankenstein.

Dean Howarth recounts these unsettling stories and recreates (legally!) some of the experiments done by these controversial scientists.

Welcome to the New Lab

The Natural Philosopher's new space is ready to explore. The displays of curiosities are back in their cabinets, the lab equipment is on the shelves and experiment tables, and the Natural Philosopher is greeting visitors. Be aware that he is still arranging the displays so that items that had been in storage can also be enjoyed as you visit with him.