Gold Leaf Electroscope (late 1800s/early 1900s)


This is a gold leaf electroscope for qualitative demonstrations of electrostatic phenomena and, according to the advertisement at the bottom of the page, "to show Comparative Radio-activities."

The body is entirely made of wood, the insulator is wax,  the Volta plate (on top) and lead-in are brass, and the single leaf is made of gold.

In general, an electrophorus would be used to transfer a charge to the horizontal disk (Volta plate) on the top.  For an explanation of how an electroscope can be charged and how an electrophorus works, click here. 

Manufactured by Reynolds & Branson, Ltd. of Leeds, England.

The following advertisement appeared in "Radio-activity: an elementary treatise, from the standpoint of the disintegration theory" (Frederick Soddy, 1904). It shows a very similar electroscope to the above. However, the Volta plate is larger in the illustration, and the advertisement indicates that the electroscope comes with either "two angles marked" or a "Graduated Arc." Our example has neither.


Size: ca. 5"  x 3.5" x 3.5"


Electroscopes      Museum Directory        

Last updated: 07/25/07
Copyright 1999, Oak Ridge Associated Universities