Jacob’s Ladder

Michael is building this almost 7′ tall Jacob’s Ladder for an event on Saturday. That’s about all I can say about it at this time. More photos after then!

Jacob's Ladder

What is a Jacob’s Ladder? Well, I had to lift this information from The Museum of Electricity:
‘If you’ve ever seen a Frankenstein movie you have probably seen a Jabcobs Ladder or “climbing arc”. The familiar “Bzzzzzzzzzzz….snap!” sound is a staple of old horror movies.

So how do they work? First two conductive metal rods are positioned in a rough “V” shape with a slight space between them at the base. A sufficient voltage differential is provided from a high voltage transformer to breakdown the air in the gap between the rods, at which point the electricity “jumps” the gap and creates an arc. If there is enough electric current or amperage available, the arc will resemble a flame, and be hot enough so that convection begins to pull it upwards. As the arc rises it lengthens until it gets to a point where the rails are so far apart that it cannot sustain itself. It then goes out and the whole process begins again at the bottom where the rods are closest together.’

Pretty awesome stuff, eh?

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