KING'S COLLEGE LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KING'S COLLEGE LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Franklin's lightning experiment. Historical artwork of the US scientist Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) and his son William, performing their famous lightning experiment. On 15 June 1752 they flew a kite during a thunderstorm, with a metal wire on the kite attracting a lightning strike. Electricity flowed down the string to a key, charging a Leyden jar (capacitor, not seen). This experiment proved that lightning was an electrical phenomenon, and supported Franklin's invention of lightning rods. Some scientists died repeating the experiment. Illustration from 'Electric science : its history, phenomena, and applications' (1853) by Frederick C. Bakewell.
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