I was having some going back through the works of my favorite person of all time, James Clerk Maxwell , and find it entertaining that he referred to electricity as resinous or vitreous as well as early forms of mathematical symbols. The sanitized versions and non-free pseudo copies don't do history justice. Something is always lost in translation of the original. It is a similar case for me as I have to make up math and symbols to quantify what I observe and can verify.
There is no way for somebody who does not experience the events to appreciate or faithfully paraphrase the source. To me, it is a play, that I contrive and act out in many acts and with many players. I set the stage with the knowledge that he would have at hand, I bring in the actors to read their publications in his words as he notes the interest and considers their import.
Others may find it entertaining to experience the works of a famous playwright or composer, but I live in the music and drama. There are movies that attempt to portray what it must be like to be Mozart and hear symphonies in your head, but they are not real and the real is neither blessing or curse. There is no magical state of profound joy in the process, it is my food, it is dinner and if I do not eat, the mind will starve. [So in a way, this blog is dinner theater :) ]
If I were a literal person the essays would seem like gibberish, but since I program in many different languages and use thousands of different tools to understand, it is just another language that has its own association between symbols, associations and observables (Ah, Mahjong ). It is wrong for somebody to say "This is what he really meant!" and on top of that, restrict access to prior open knowledge by extending copyright through deception and collusion. They do me no favor or anybody else. A scientist would really have to be full of himself to correct Maxwell after the fact. Nobody is a god and he is certainly not, but he is well skilled and I would rather see what he had to say with all the warts and scars.
The "Leyden Vials" were most of them flat plates of glass with circular coatings of tinfoil, one on each side.The strange thing is that this looks very much like some of my notebooks. I do some worse things because I purposely write down bad equations to poison the work so that a person could not just look at the result and apply it without understanding the origin. It serves as a pirate map for me and a riddle map for others that would require the mind of a quantum electrodynamic pirate to translate. The other problem is that many new concepts have no history, nomenclature or association except within my own system of understanding. In this text Maxwell makes a righteous attempt to take what is commonly known in his circles and express a suitable extension.
They were made in sets of three,being nearly equal in capacity to the three of the former set taken together. Cavendish had thus a complete set of condensers of known capacity by means of which he measured the capacity of every piece of his apparatus, from the wire which he used to connect his coated plates, and which he found to contain '28 " inches of electricity," up to his battery of 49 jars, which contained 321000 "inches of electricity" *.
These "inches of electricity" can be directly compared with our modern measurements of electrostatic capacity.
DaVinci would do some interesting things to obfuscate certain facts and though I see many people claim to unravel the mysteries, it really does take one to know one even a little bit.
I see Maxwell's point and by that I mean that I emulate the vector of his reasoning and then add the new information which has been discovered since he lived. Very much like wearing him as a hat or Maxwell goggles. Sounds a bit morbid when discussed that way, wearing the brain of a corpse, but of course it is all sanitary emulation of perspective, objects, vectors, sequences, sets, dimensions and quantities. A translation of a symphony across a quaternion perhaps.
"Inches of electricity", gotta love that phrase, and I would add a pinch of green gravity and a twist of purified ijklmn dimension -6.
I suppose I should thank internet archives with a link, if that is thanking,