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The Wonders Of Electricity

Electricity has been with us for a long time, from the first static sparks created rubbing two sticks together in 60,000BC to today’s clean green electricity made from fans spinning to the gusts of flatulent cows. Today we explore electricity of the ancients and uncover the secrets of internal wiring before trumpeting cows were even invented.

Rome and the colosseum, home to the Roman spectacle of donkey shaving, an orgy of creativity as competitors try to out shave their opponents donkey, truly one of the seven wonders of the world. To shave donkeys safely they needed good lighting and that was provided using a triple spur mounted cable shuffler.

These shufflers enable the electricity being created by Nubian slaves on large treadmills to be transported from neighbouring Spain using cable made from reeds and the spit of the humble dung beetle. These cables ran for many miles finally meeting at the colosseum to provide not only lighting but the first ever two point shaving socket. So the next time you plug your shaver in spare a thought for the Romans and the humble donkey, without them you wouldn’t know how to shave.

Slightly smaller than our magnificent Blackpool tower the 162ft Eyeful tower was erected in 1635, six years after the one in the northern resort. Originally intended to be the worlds biggest helter skelter a freak accident involving one of the spirals plunged a workman to his death as he sped around the tower at speeds reaching 264mph (that’s 8726kmph in old money) until his coconut mat caught fire and his shoes combusted blasting him twenty two miles only to land in a smouldering heap through the window of a bakery in Calais. He declared the ride ‘grand’ before expiring on a pile of cream horns.

Anyway, this is the massive junction box that powered the tower in 1704. Rumour has it that when the switch was thrown the static burst was so big that Parisians hair stood on end for three months. The junction box was used to power a small electric light at the top of the Eyeful Tower that was visible to aeroplanes, great foresight as aeroplanes were still 200 years into the future.

Possibly the most complex wiring job ever taken on was Stonehenge, or as it used to be known No.6 Salisbury Way, Camelot, England. The first ever domestic two up, two down house that today looks a shambles. Archeologists differ on their opinions of why Stonehenge exists but really the answer is quite simple after scientists deciphered strange markings on the side of one of the stones.

This is the markings, the first ever wiring diagram for a domestic setting, proof indeed that ancient man was way ahead of its time. Electricians have studied this diagram and came to the conclusion that the ancient sparky go his sums wrong and sent a full 20v to the hallway and 240v to the kitchen where a new gas pipe was being laid. The resulting explosion destroyed everything around it for miles leaving only what we see today. A stone slab found in Wales from the explosion had the words ‘Shi’ etched on it, possibly the last words our ancient electrician ever scratched.

By the miracle of modern science our very own Battersea power station opened in 1902. Powered by a thousand dogs on treadmills trying to catch a dancing bone it remained in full use until 1944 when it was bombed heavily during the war. After WWII it was replaced with a more sustainable cat and ball of wool system although that tended to randomly do what it wanted and occasionally plunged everyone into darkness if anybody left a cardboard box around.

Inside was a simple system to feed our need for electricity, three cables, one for earth that is placed in the ground, on called neutral that was left loose for cats to bat and one live that carried the cat bats energy generated directly to kitchens up and down the country.

Finally the secrets of the Pharaohs, a four point pin socket that reveals that it was not all about Sirius, Nubius, Dubious and Mummies. During excavations of Tutankhamen’s chamber they found a curious item resembling scissors. It turned out to be curling tongs and when out together with an unusual shaped gap in the centre of the pyramid it was revealed for the first time that the great pyramid was in fact an ancient beauty salon specialising in the curling of hair.

You can see here that the socket found fits perfectly with all four corners of the pyramid and also helped design the look for Toblerone.

A set of hieroglyphic markings on one of the internal chamber turned out to be a price list with bikini lines costing a jar of asses milk whilst a short back and sides was a whopping bushel of corn. Amazing stuff I’m sure you will agree.

I hope you have enjoyed your travel through time, tomorrow we will discuss Facebook through the centuries and the founding of Twitter in 0BC with the very first tweet ‘no @mary I’m not following a bloody star to Bethlehem it’s Christmas #leaveittothethreekings’


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