Lightning rod experiment, 19th century

Lightning rod experiment, 19th century

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lightning rod experiment. 19th-century illustration of an experiment demonstrating the principle of a lightning rod. A sheet of paper charged with static electricity is used at left to animate a paper human figure. At right, a metal needle attracts and drains the static electric charge, leaving the paper human figure inanimate. The needle has acted as a lightning rod, a device used to protect buildings from lightning strikes. This illustration, part of a section titled 'Experiences de Physique sans Appareils' (illustrating popular physics experiments that don't require the use of laboratory equipment), is from 'Physique Populaire' (Emile Desbeaux, 1891).

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