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Applied electric fields of the order of 100 V/cm influence the growth of whiskers during the reduction of metal halides such as CuBr. The method and the apparatus described provide potential improvements in the reduction growth process, such as improved yields, control of the type of growth, and the tendency of the whiskers to line up with the applied field. In addition, an electric current accompanies the growth process. This current, presently the subject of further studies, is interesting in itself and may provide an independent means to investigate and control the growth process. The apparatus is easily adaptable to direct visual and photographic observation of the growing whiskers.