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Francis Havesbee or Hawksbee

experiments, electricity and society

HAVESBEE or HAWKSBEE, FRANCIS, was born in the latter part of the 17th century. The exact year of his birth is unknown, and also that of his death ; but it appears from the minutes of the Royal Society that he was admitted a Fellow of that body in 1705, at which period it is probable he was appointed to the office of curator of experiments to the Society. Previous to the time of Ilauksbec, electricity could not be said to exist as a science. Dr. Gilbert of Colchester had published a book on magnetism about the beginning of the 17th century, wherein he gave a list of certain substances which, when rubbed, acquire the property of attracting light bodies ; and similar phenomena had likewise been observed by Boyle, but with the exception of these insulated facts nothing was known coucerniug electricity. Even the electrical discoveries of Mr. Ilauksbee were not of any great importance in themselves, but, as Dr. Thomson observes in his ' History of the Royal Society,' "they constituted the beginning of the science, and, by drawing tho attention of philosophers to that particular subject, were doubtless of considerable service in promoting electrical investigations." Between 1705-11, there appear several papa's

in the 'Transactions of the Royal Society,' giving a detailed aeeouut of his experiments. In 1706 he had recognised the electricity of glees by friction, and was theuce led to the first rudiments of the electrical machine. In 1709 he published his 'Physico-Mechanical Experiments on various subjects; touching light and electricity producible on the attrition of bodies,' London, 4to., which was shortly after translated into Italian by Thomas Deroham. The work was also trauslated into French by M. Bremoud, but the latter having died before completing the translation, the publication was delayed till 1754, when it was revised and edited by M. Desmarest, who added the more recent dis coveries of Hauksbee, and the yet more important ones of Mr. Gray. In addition to the works already ineutioued, Haukalieo has left ' Proposals for a Course of Chemical Experiments,' London,1731, 4to.; ' An Essay for introducing a Portable Laboratory,' London, 1731, 8vo.; besides numerous papera on various philosophical subjects iu the Society's 'Transactions.'