Our interpretation of The Y Crookes Tube or nr 6 as Crookes designated this curious tube, demonstrates cathode rays originate from the cathode (negative electrode) and are inclined to travel in straight lines.
As with all Y tubes, ours has three electrodes. The bottom electrode is connected to negative polarity. The top two electrodes, both positive (anodes) are connected the high voltage power supply individually.
As the tube energizes via the bottom cathode and top “straight” anode, classic cathode rays are observed. The gap of illumination or Crookes Dark Space proves that cathode rays are indeed being produced.
Once the curved tube is energized via the anode lead, something curious happens. Although the cathode rays do follow the tube’s curve, the most direct path is always taken. The cathode rays do not hug the bend or fill the curved segment as with the straight portions of the tube.