* Electric torrents pour. l. 463. The influence of electricity in forwarding the germination of plants and their growth seems to be pretty well established; though Mr. Ingenhouz did not succeed in his experiments, and thence doubts the success of those of others. And though M. Rouland from his new experiments believes, that neither positive nor nega∣tive electricity increases vegetation; both which philosophers had previously been sup∣porters of the contrary doctrine; for many other naturalists have since repeated their ex∣periments relative to this object, and their new results have confirmed their former ones. Mr. D'Ormoy and the two Roziers have found the same success in numerous experi∣ments which they have made in the last two years; and Mr. Carmoy has shewn in a convincing manner that electricity accelerates germination.
Mr. D'Ormoy not only found various seeds to vegetate sooner, and to grow taller which were put upon his insulated table and supplied with electricity, but also that silk∣worms began to spin much sooner which were kept electrified than those of the same hatch which were kept in the same place and manner, except that they were not elec∣trified. These experiments of M. D'Ormoy are detailed at length in the Journal de Physique of Rozier, Tom. XXXV. p. 270.
M. Bartholon, who had before written a tract on this subject, and proposed ingenious methods for applying electricity to agriculture and gardening, has also repeated a numerous set of experiments; and shews both that natural electricity, as well as the artificial, in∣creases the growth of plants, and the germination of seeds; and opposes Mr. Ingenhouz by very numerous and conclusive facts. Ib. Tom. XXXV. p. 401.
Since by the late discoveries or opinions of the Chemists there is reason to believe that water is decomposed in the vessels of vegetables; and that the Hydrogene or inflam∣mable air, of which it in part consists, contributes to the nourishment of the plant, and to the production of its oils, rosins, gums, sugar, &c. and lastly as electricity decomposes water into these two airs termed Oxygene and Hydrogene, there is a powerful analogy to induce us to believe that it accelerates or contributes to the growth of vegetation, and like heat may possibly enter into combination with many bodies, or form the basis of some yet unanalised acid.
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