Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
Chapter 3: The History of Growing with
In North America, approximately thirty years before the signing of the Declaration of
Independence, at a time when the discovery and use of electricity was in its infancy,
experimenters in England were already exploring the effects of electricity upon plant life 1 .
The effects were so pronounced that other researchers joined the effort, propelling the
movement forward.
Electroculture, as it is known today, is the use of electrical current to stimulate the growth
of plants. While the term is relatively new, the concept is not. There were hundreds of
researchers working in the field between the years of 1745 and 1910, and even more
researchers working from 1918 to 1936 2 , when it was at its peak in terms of popularity.
Today, researchers are again studying the phenomena.
Here is a brief look at its early experimental history…
18th Century
In 1746, a researcher named Dr. Von Maimbray of Edinburgh, Scotland, conducted
experiments to discover what effects electricity might have on plant life. His first
experiment, performed on two young myrtle trees, consisted of simply passing a current
through the trees to the earth using static electricity. To his surprise, the growth of the trees
was significantly stimulated, showing greater growth in both the leaves as well as the height
of the main trunk. Consequently he declared that some sort of “electric fluid” increased the
rate of growth in plants 3 .
Through the years other researchers joined him. They used various methods produced
similar results, showing that plants can receive enormous benefits when “fertilized” with
electricity. Still more researchers joined the ranks…
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