Sources: A Newly Discovered System Of Electrical Medication

It may be proper, in this place, to spend a few words upon electrical

polarization in general.

Electrical polarity may be defined as a characteristic of the electric

or magnetic fluid, by virtue of which its opposite qualities, as those

of attraction and repulsion towards the same object, are manifested

in opposite parts of the electric or magnetic body. These opposite parts

are called the poles of the body, as the positive and negative

poles. The difference between the positive and negative poles is

believed to be that of plus and minus--plus being positive and minus

negative. This is the Franklinian view, and, if I mistake not, is the

one most in favor with men of science at the present day. This view

supposes that the electricity or magnetism arranges itself in maximum

quantity and intensity at the one extremity or pole of the magnetized

body, and in minimum quantity and intensity at the opposite extremity

or pole; and that, between these points--the maximum and the

minimum--the fluid is distributed, in respect to quantity and intensity,

upon a scale of regular graduation from the one to the other. The idea

may be represented by a line, commencing in a point at the one end,

and extending, with regularly increasing breadth, to the other end. The

larger end would represent the positive pole, and the smaller, the

negative pole. Or perhaps a better representation of the magnet would be

a line of equal breadth from end to end, but having the one end white,

or slightly tinted, say, with red, and the color gradually and

regularly increasing in strength to the other end, where it becomes a

deep scarlet. Let the coloring-matter represent the magnetism in the

body charged, and we have the magnet illustrated in its polarization:

the deep-red end is the positive pole, and the white or faintly-colored

end is the negative pole.

It is a law of polarization that the positive poles of different magnets

repel each other, and the negative poles repel each other; while

positive and negative poles attract each other. The same law of

polarization rules in electric or magnetic currents as in magnets at