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Construction of a leyden jar?

  1. Nov 3, 2016 #1
    I'm a high school junior and doing a project on ben franklin. specifically I'm making a model of his electric motor which used two Leyden jars to operate. I want to make it a working model but I cannot get the leyden jars work. can anyone explain to me how to construct a historically accurate one that works? (what metal was the electrode, does the electrode have to have a ball on top, does the outer foil coating cover the jar bottom, does the outer foil have to be grounded, does aluminum foil tape work for the foil coatings, etc.) any and all information will be helpful and greatly appreciated. please try to respond in terms a high school junior without much electrical experience will understand.
    attached are pictures of what I've tried to do based on information I found as a reference for what I'm trying to do. currently this is a salt water Leyden jar but I can do it differently if need be.

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    There are lots of hits on YouTube. For example

  4. Nov 4, 2016 #3


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    Gold Member

    I think it would be better to use an open container with foil half way up inside and outside, because I think the use of water will make things damp and create leakage.
    Do not charge it up to thousands of volts, by the way, for safety.
  5. Nov 6, 2016 #4
    I'm trying to ground a Leyden jar without holding it myself. How do I ground the outer foil layer
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