At the turn of the 19th century in Italy, Alessandro Volta and Luigi Galvani sparred over the physiological effects of electricity. Volta’s Pile (the first electrical battery) had new practical applications in chemistry and medicine where the followers of “Galvanism” felt that electric currents were the vital source of life.
The greatest proponent of this theory, Giovanni Aldini took the electro-medical experiments to the extreme, proposing that electric shocks could revive the dead. The macabre public experiments by Aldini and other “resurrectionists” would horrify audiences… and eventually inspire Mary Shelley’s famous story of the resurrected monster, Frankenstein.
Dean Howarth recounts these unsettling stories and recreates (legally!) some of the experiments done by these controversial scientists.
The Natural Philosopher's Lab has been open to visitors for almost a year. With the displays of curiosities open for viewing and the laboratory devices on their shelves or experiment tables, the Natural Philosopher is engaged with greeting his visitors and sharing his knowledge, stories, and sometimes the Mad Science that has led to the Science Fiction and even science of today.