We have always considered and collected these commercial masks and helmets as industries tribal art. Examples can be elegant in their simplicity or bazaar and complex. They are always unique, suprising and filled with personality.

Geissler Spinner

These tiny spinners were part of physics boxes for children. Pericaud sold these around 1900. It was designed to hold a 5" Geissler tube. It creates a striking pinwheel of light when moving. It has a pulley to connect to a small motor. There are also 2 electrical pick-ups to light the tube. There are no tube clips included. A Geissler tube is an early gas discharge tube used to demonstrate the principles of electrical glow discharge, similar to modern neon lighting. The tube was invented by the German physicist and glassblower Heinrich Geissler in 1857. It consists of a sealed, partially evacuated glass cylinder of various shapes with a metal electrode at each end, containing rarefied gasses such as neon, argon, or air; mercury vapor or other conductive fluids; or ionizable minerals or metals, such as sodium. When a high voltage is applied between the electrodes, an electrical current flows through the tube. The current dissociates electrons from the gas molecules, creating ions, and when the electrons recombine with the ions, the gas emits light by fluorescence. The color of light emitted is characteristic of the material within the tube, and many different colors and lighting effects can be achieved. The first gas-discharge lamps, Geissler tubes were novelty items, made in many artistic shapes and colors to demonstrate the new science of electricity. In the early 20th century, the technology was commercialized and evolved into neon lighting... $350