This is a demonstration of Nathan Stubblefield's invention, the Earth Cell Battery, patented in 1898 (patent no 600,457). It is a coil that when immersed in the earth's surface taps telluric currents of the earth that can be read with a voltimeter. This is a demonstration only, so please take note of the deepness of the hole that was dug, which was about 11 or 12 inches deep, as large tree roots were below. Also notice the Secondary winding on the battery is not complete, as I was running out of time and needed to get it in the ground before it got dark. This was a camping trip in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. I felt this location to be a great start for my experiment, as the battery's origin was approximately 30 miles south, in Murray, Kentucky. Please excuse the shakiness of the camera, this experiment was performed on a fairly steep hill, it was hard to keep my balance!
This battery is comprised of concentric windings of uninsulated steel wire and insulated copper speaker wire (the speaker wire was a theory of mine that I thought would be suitable for this application, as it has multiple strands of copper wire). I used sterile gauze as insulation in between each layer of windings (including initially in between the 10" bolt and the first winding). The point is to not let the steel wire touch any part of itself as it is being wound. The spacers used are 2" x ½" vinyl with holes drilled through for the four terminals.
As you can see, the initial voltage reading, dry, above ground, is .08v.
Next voltage reading, dry, underground, is .41v.
I poured a bucket of water over the area and waited a few minutes (water acts as an electrolyte). I tested the battery not on film, it was .91v. A moment later I tested it once more while filming, it was .88v.
2 hours later, I did a final testing, it was .92v. I then removed the battery from the ground and put it in a bucket of water, the voltage reading was much lower than when it was in the ground, about .82v. The ammeter function in my multimeter is busted as I found out during the tests, so I could not take a reading on the current, which sucks. One thing I forgot to film is that when the terminals were switched, the DC voltage reading was also switched to negative of the same values. For positive readings, the copper is plus and the steel is minus. This is a fairly simple and cheap project, so do some research and have fun!
The last clip of this film was taken in Murray, Kentucky, as I am currently looking for a new home and good graduate program. The statue is of Rainey Wells, a man that attended many of Stubblefield's demonstrations of his wireless telephone. I say "hello, Rainey" because these were the first words heard by Wells from Stubblefield during a demonstration in 1892. Rainey Wells was 17 years old at this time. The building in the background is the Forrest Pogue Library, an archive of information on Stubblefield and his work. The inscription on the building reads, "The Whole World Here Unlocks the Experience of the Past." The Nathan Stubblefield memorial is west of this location of the Murray State University campus.