If the above "object" is made negative, the droplets would come out positive. The voltages reached by this device can be in the range of kilovolts, but the amounts of charge are small, so there is no more danger to persons than that of static electrical discharges produced by shuffling feet on a carpet, for example.
Retrieved A better solution would be to use hypodermic needles for the droppers but these were not available at the time of building. How it works The basic idea of the generator is very simple. It appears that wood is too poor an insulator to be even close to the crucial parts of the apparatus and has the effect of stoping the build up of any charge, stalling the generator.
Charge the upwind screen with a power supply. Or even better, make your generator look like a VandeGraaff Machine. Try testing your generator again, and it may begin to work.
Electric fences in countryside farms make a periodic clicking.