Page:The fairy tales of science.djvu/47

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27
THE AMBER SPIRIT.

The great peculiarity of these wonderful clocks is, that they may be connected by wires, and made to keep exactly equal time, though separated from each other by hundreds of miles. With a single battery of sufficient power all the clocks in London might be kept going; and what is still more extraordinary, the London clocks might be made to regulate those of Edinburgh and Dublin, or even those of Paris and New York!

The Spirit has been employed to move more ponderous things than pendulums. He has been taught to turn a lathe, work a pump, and propel a boat through the water; but as it is much more expensive to evoke the Spirit by means of metals and acids, than to raise Steam from water, he is not likely to supersede Steam as a mover of machinery.

In the useful Arts the Amber Spirit has long been employed as a worker of metals, and with his assistance we now cast copper medallions, vases, and statues, without making use of a furnace; we gild or silver all kinds of utensils, and cover the most delicate productions of nature with thin films of metal. We will proceed to consider these mysterious operations. When the Spirit is made to travel through a solution of copper, silver, or gold, he decomposes it, and deposits the metal, particle by particle, on the wire which conducts him back to the battery. Now by attaching a suitable model or mould to this wire we can procure this metallic