From Purcell's Electricity and Magnetism
A spectacular conclusion of one of the popular exhibitions of the time was likely to be the electrification of a boy suspended by many silk threads from the rafters; his hair stood on end and sparks could be drawn from the tip of his nose.
(pp 88 of second edition)
It sounds as if this wasn't something that hurt the boy in the act, but if there are sparks, there must be significant current running through his body, right? Were the sparks simply too small to cause serious damage, or is there a reason that drawing sparks from the boy doesn't affect his physiology?