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LONDON:
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY;
56, PATERNOSTER Row; 65, St. Paul's CHURCHYARD;

AND 164, PICCADILLY.

196

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PREFACE.

DURING the last few years there have been a great many new applications of the electric current. Till then the telegraph and electro-plating were its principal uses; but we have now the telephone, the electric light, the accumulator, the electric railway, and other conveniences of daily life. Electricity, in fact, has become one of the important physical agents of the day, and is believed to be the successor of steam in the future. The steam-engine, the telegraph and coal-gas were the industrial triumphs of the past generation. It will be curious if electricity should not only serve the telegraph, but supplant the steamengine and gas-lighting in the next.

Its great advantage over all other sources of power is that it can travel to long distances in a moment, and thus act as a carrier of force as well as a stationary worker.

These recent advances have excited considerable public interest, and the present little volume is an attempt to give the general reader some account of them. The time for such a work seems to have arrived.

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