A simple device invented by the Count de Tromelin, described
in his book Les Mysteres de lUnivers (ca. 1908). It was
supposed to demonstrate the existence of human energy emanations
analagous to the subtle fluid of animal magnetism.
It was composed of a paper cylinder about two inches in diameter,
open at each end and crossed diametrically at its upper
part by a piece of straw. A needle was stuck through the middle
with the point resting on the bottom of a small, inverted porcelain
or glass jar. The paper cylinder was suspended outside and
concentric with the inverted jar, the point of the needle acting
as a pivot and enabling it to turn easily under the slightest impulse.
Count de Tromelin claimed that if the right hand was
placed behind this apparatus it would turn counterclockwise. If
the left hand was placed behind, it would turn in the other direction.
W. Warcollier, writing in the Annals of Psychical Science
(AugustSeptember 1908), observes that this motion has nothing
to do with the polarity of the two hands. The left hand produces
the same effect as the right in the same position, writes
Warcollier; moreover the heat of the hand is sufficient to create
an air current that is capable of producing the rotation.
A more satisfactory instrument of this kind was invented by
Paul Joire and was known as a sthenometer. (See also biometer
of Baraduc; magnetometer)