George M. Hopkins (1842-1902) wrote a series of articles on demonstrating physical phenomena in the Scientific American during the last years of the 19th century. These were collected in a book, Experimental Science, that was first published in 1890, with revisions in 1892 and 1902. It must have been well received, for the 27th edition came out in 1911. When discussing the taut wire harmonograph in Fig. 1, he writes that “as incidental to scientific work, the effects of beautiful experiments on the latter class may be worth a little consideration, as it not infrequently happens that the mere onlooker is lured into the paths of science by such means.”

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