Crosse, Andrew – A Prophecy about the spread of electricity
Type of Spiritual Experience
This prophecy was made in 1816, when Andrew was 32. Normally shy, he had been invited to a dinner party, when the subject of ‘science’ came up in the conversation, at which point ‘forgetting his shyness’ he rose in enthusiasm and proceeded to describe the power of electricity and the range of its influences.
The History and Present State of Electricity, written by Joseph Priestley, a survey of the study of electricity up until 1766, had come out in 1767, and experimentation was at a very very early stage.
Well over 40 years later, as Crosse’s biography was being written by his wife after his death, she was able to say that “most of the party assembled have lived to see the fulfilment of those prophetic words” – and in this she meant the electric telegraph. But we think Crosse had visions of something far more revolutionary
A description of the experience
Memorials, Scientific and Literary of Andrew Crosse, the Electrician – Cornelia and Andrew Crosse
"I prophesy that, by means of the electric agency, we shall be enabled to communicate our thoughts instantaneously with the uttermost ends of the earth."
This announcement was received as a wild chimera, and would hardly have gained the consideration it did, had not the speaker convinced his audience of the fullness at least of his own conviction in the results of a speculation at once bold and unprecedented.
But the palpable improbability-nay, apparent physical impossibility-of such an application of a mysterious, almost unknown agent, called forth more astonishment than comprehension, more ridicule than credence.
He would also later say:
"I have every reason to believe that the electric action will be universally employed in vast variety of manufactures over the whole civilised world.
The source of the experienceCrosse, Andrew
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
Squash the big I am