Recherches sur L'Origine des Sentimens agreables et desagreables. 1.-4. Partie. (1. Theorie générale du plaisir. 2. Théorie des plaisirs intellectuels. 3. Des plaisirs des sens. 4. Des plaisirs moraux).

(Berlin, Haude et Spener, 1753-54). 4to. Unbound, but stitched. In: "Memoires de l'Academie Royale des Sciences et Belles-Lettres" Tome VII pp. (57-)100 and Tome VIII pp. 350-390.

First editions and the first reports of the electrophysiological effects of electricity, the so-called electric taste produced by passing a small electric current through the tongue. The effect was described here nearly 50 years before Galvani and Volta investigated the phenomena (Galvani 1791, Volta 1792).
"In a work entitled "Recherches sur l'origine des sentiments agréables et désagreables", which was published in 1752 (correctly published in 1753, the item offered), Johann Georg Sulzer (1720-79) had mentioned that two pieces of metal, the one of lead and the other of silver, be joined together in such a manner that their edges touch, and if they be placed on the tongue, a taste is perceived 'similar to that of vitriol of iron', although neither of these metals applied separately gives any trace of such taste. 'It is not probable', he says, 'that this contact of the two metals causes a solution of either of them, liberating particles which might affect the tongue; and we must therefore conclude that the contact sets up a vibration in their particles, which, by affecting the nerves of the tongue, produces the taste in question.'. This observation was not suspected to have any connection with electrical phenomena, and it played no part in the inception of the next discovery, which indeed was suggested by a mere accident."(Whittaker. A History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity. I:p. 67).

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