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Lightning conductor. Engraving of a portable lightning conductor being carried by a man. The conductor consisted of an umbrella which had a long metal rod sticking up from it which was connected by a metal cable to the ground. The idea behind the device was that if lightning struck the umbrella, it would take the path of least electrical resistance to the ground through the cable rather than passing through the carrier. A more appropriate measure would have been to not carry an object during a thunder storm that attracted lightning in the first place. Photographed from L. Figuier's Les Merveilles de Science, published in Paris, France, in 1870.
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