Punch,  43 (1862), 114.

Scientific Stealing



News-Commentary, Drollery


Crime, Pneumatics, Electricity, Measurement, Instruments, Invention, Technology, Progress

    Puzzled by a report of a man charged with stealing '500 feet of gas'. Notes how fortunate gas companies are that 'aëriform fluids are capable of being measured somehow', so that thieves can be tried and punished effectively, but wonders what will happen 'when gas is superseded by electricity', which 'can't be weighed, being one of the "imponderables"' and is 'incapable of being meted by the pint and quart'. Notes that 'The electrometer does not divide it into quantities', and anticipates the invention of an instrument which will 'indicate the amount of electricity which a rogue has filched from a wire'.

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