The Electron, (Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1917 (reprinting in paperback
- Millikan, Robert A
The Greeks were the first to report the effects of electricity when they recorded that rubbed amber attracted light objects. However, theories explaining this phenomenon did not emerge until 1747, when Benjamin Franklin proposed that an electrical fluid or fire existed in certain amounts in all matter. An excess of this fluid in matter would produce a positive charge and a deficiency of this fluid would produce a negative charge. A slightly different theory was put forth by the physicist Symmer twelve years later. He proposed that matter in a neutral state shows no electrical properties because it contains equal amounts of two weightless fluids, which were called positive and negative electricity respectively.