The Galvani-Volta controversy

3. The second experiment
In the course of his experiments, Galvani realised that the spasms occurred without any external electrical discharge when he hooked the frog onto a metal railing. This happened simply by creating a contact between nerves and muscles through the railing and the hook stuck into the frog’s spine.

Although he noticed that the spasms were stronger when contact was established via a bimetal arc, Galvani disregarded the theory that the effect was due to the conductors and reinforced his idea of animal electricity. His theory was that the frog’s muscles acted as a reservoir for electricity flowing through the nerves. This functioned like the Leyden jar which gave a discharge when contact was created between the internal armature (the nerves) and the external one (the surface of the muscles).