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Electric Fuse

A fuse for igniting an explosive by electricity. There are two kinds. In one a thin wire unites the ends of the two conducting wires as they enter the case of the fuse. The larger wires are secured to the case, so that no strain comes on the fine wire. On passing a current of sufficient strength the small wire is heated. In use the fuse is bedded in powder, which again may be surrounded by fulminating powder, all contained in a copper or other metallic case. Such a detonator is used for exploding guncotton and other high explosives.

The other kind of fuse is similar, but has no thin connecting wire. The ends of the conductors are brought nearer together without touching. In use a static discharge is produced across from end to end of the conductors, igniting a proper explosive placed there as in the other case.

The first kind of fuse is generally operated by a battery or small mechanical generator--the latter by a spark coil, frictional or influence machine or by a Leyden jar.