What is this device called?

I’ve been curious about this for some time now.  You know those weird electrical devices that you sometimes see in cheesy Sci-Fi films from the 50’s?  It’s basically some kind of a box with two long metal rods (electrodes?) sticking out in a v-shape like a pair of rabbit-ear antennae on a TV.  When you turn it on, an electrical spark arcs between the two rods and rises to the top with that familiar buzzing sound.

What the heck is this device called?

It’s a Jacob’s Ladder.

Thanks.  But now this leads me to the next question: what are they used for?

As far as I can remember, they are used for nothing at all.  They just look cool.

Try this site; emanator.demon.co.uk/bigclive/jacobs.htm

You pull the antenna off, slip each one thru the ends of a weenie and stick it on. If you slide the weenie up the antennae to the correct tension, it will cook the most disgusting hot dog you ever tasted.
Other than that, they’re useless. And its law that you must accompany the public use of any Jacob’s ladder with a theramin.

For a second there, I thought you said you stick your weenie through it!  :stuck_out_tongue: 

As for a theremin, that’s something I would actually like to own one of these days.  I wonder where you could buy one…

You know that there are two htmf members who’s names are similar to the name of a theremin expert living in PR.  I wonder if there’s a connection??? :confused:

Perhaps there may be, but since I live on the other side of the ocean, I’m not sure if asking them to tell me where to buy one would do me much good.

And since I’m all thumbs and have no idea how to build anything electronic, asking them to teach me to make one would probably be pointless too.  But still, I do appreciate the suggestion.

I could put my Jacobs Ladder and Theremin in the china cabinet. Beside the Electric Sackbut

I wish i was able to take pictures of the one we made in school in mr k’s class in the physics lab I think Miguel took pictures of it when we set it up in the multi purpose room Maybe ask mig to post it.

We used a 100000 Volt Step up  transformer and 2 1/2" copper bars and built it. Was really sweet too.


My dad has a Theremin!

He rules with that instrument! :smiley: