From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rich Grise)
Subject: Re: REAL Human Dynamo
Date: 5 Nov 2002 15:59:51 -0800
NNTP-Posting-Date: 5 Nov 2002 23:59:51 GMT
email@example.com (Dave) wrote in message news:...
> When I was a kid in Pittsburgh in the mid-60s, I saw a promotional
> tent act called "The Human Dynamo."
> This was a guy who sat on a transformer or some sort of generator and
> performed various electrical stunts, such as lighting florescent
> lights with his bare hands, creating huge sparks off apparatus on his
> head etc. I guess he was a sort of human Tesla coil.
> For a novel I'm writing, I would love to hear any recollections of
> this guy if anyone else has seen him. How did he do his "tricks" and
> did he do anything else other than light lights and make sparks?
I saw this guy in the late '60s. It was a show called "sermons from
science," and as others have mentioned it was heavy on the interesting,
entertaining science, and real light on Biblical stuff. He stood on
top of a Tesla coil that was at least 2' in diameter, and about 4'
tall - made some wisecrack while taking off his belt that the zipper
would be OK. Shot sparks out of his fingertips, lit the board on fire,
but he cheated on that one, with the alum. foil and some lighter fluid.
By the expression on his face, it was not necessarily absolutely
painless, if you know what I mean.
Another of his demos was breaking a champagne glass with sound -
but he had one of those loudspeaker impellers. He put a coin in the
glass, and held it sideways pointed at the speaker impeller. Turned
up the oscillator freq, and at the resonant freq., the coin started
kind of dancing inside the glass. His point was it's "in tune." At
the right freq., he turned the volume WAY up, and the glass shattered.
At that point in the show, I don't think he was barefooted. Another
of his demos was a painting of a sort of pastoral, rural scene, with
trees and grass and a farmhouse. It was done with THREE different
paints, one of which fluoresced with S/W UV, and another that
fluoresced with L/W UV, and of course, ordinary visible paint.
He turned out the house lights, and shone one of the UV lights
on the picture, and it turned to an autumn scene, i.e., all of the
green leaves turned red and orange and stuff, and with another UV
source, it was winter, with the trees all covered in snow. That was
also pretty cool, albeit not very electronic.
Then, of course, he had the iron post with the coil at the bottom,
and levitated an aluminum ring. He turned off the power, and of
course, the ring dropped and lay on top of the coil. Fired it up,
and the ring went about 5' into the air.
All in all, it was a pretty cool show.