Original Caption: Plate showing effects of "animal electricty" with frogs' legs.
It’s electric! Luigi Galvani was an 18th century, Italian physician and experimental scientist who discovered that the application of electricity to a severed frog’s leg could make the leg twitch as if it were still attached. Galvani worked for years investigating the principles of what he called “bioelectrogenesis,” the electricity produced by all living things. Though Galvani was on to something big, he was unable to complete his work the way he wanted. Nobody had yet invented equipment precise enough to measure the tiny currents that were part of his studies, and without the proper equipment, his theories were never fully accurate. This lead to disagreements with fellow scientist Alessandro Volta. Despite his setbacks, Galvani’s work proved that nerves are an entirely separate system from veins and arteries. This discovery helped establish the field of neurology!