ELECTRE. n.s. [electrum, Latin.]
1. Amber; which, having the quality when warmed by friction of attracting bodies, gave to one species of attraction the name of electricity, and to the bodies that so attract the epithet electrick.
2. A mixed metal.
Change silver plate or vessel into the compound stuff, being a kind of silver electre, and turn the rest into coin. Bacon.ELECTRICAL, ELECTRICK. adj.. [from electrum. See ELECTRE.]
1. Attractive without magnetism; attractive by a peculiar property, supposed once to belong chiefly to amber.
By electrick bodies do I conceive not such only as take up light bodies, in which number the ancients only placed jett and amber; but such as, conveniently placed, attract all bodies palpable. Brown's Vulgar Errours, b. ii. c. 4.2. Produced by an electrick body.
An electrick body can by friction emit an exhalation so subtile, and yet so potent, as by its emission to cause no sensible diminution of the weight of the electrick body, and to be expanded through a sphere, whose diameter is above two feet, and yet to be able to carry up lead, copper, or leaf-gold, at the distance of about a foot from the electrick body. Newton.
If that attraction were not rather electrical than magnetical, it was wonderous what Helmont delivereth concerning a glass, wherein the magistery of loadstone was prepared, which retained an attractive quality. Brown's Vulgar Errours.ELECTRICITY. n.s. [from electrick. See ELECTRE.] A property in some bodies, whereby, when rubbed so as to grow warm, they draw little bits of paper, or such like substances, to them. Quincy.
If a piece of white paper, or a white cloath, or the end of one's finger, be held at about a quarter of an inch from the glass, the electrick vapour, excited by friction, will, by dashing against the white paper, cloth, or finger, be put into such an agitation as to emit light. Newton's Opt.
Such was the account given a few years ago of electricity; but the industry of the present age, first excited by the experiments of Gray, has discovered in electricity a multitude of philosophical wonders. Bodies electrified by a sphere of glass, turned nimbly round, not only emit flame, but may be fitted with such a quantity of the electrical vapour, as, if discharged at once upon a human body, would endanger life. The force of this vapour has hitherto appeared instantaneous, persons at both ends of a long chain seeming to be struck at once. The philosophers are now endeavouring to interpret the strokes of lightning.