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1753 - The lightning rod is invented (Benjamin Franklin, United States)
"Those of our Readers in this and the neighboring Provinces, who may have had an Opportunity of observing, during the present Summer, and of the Effects of Lightning on Houses, Ships, Trees, &c. are requested to take particular Notice of its Course, and Deviation from a strait Line in the Walls or other Matter affected by it, its different Operations or Effects on Wood, Stone, Bricks, Glass, Metals, Animal Bodies, &c. and every other Circumstance that may tend to discover the Nature, and compleat the History of that terrible Meteor. Such Observations being put in Writing, and communicated to Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, will be very thankfully accepted and acknowledged."
The Philadelphia Gazette, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 21, 1753
"...In short, to use the handsome language of president Adams, 'nothing, perhaps, that ever occurred on earth, could have better tended to confer universal celebrity on man than did these lightning rods of doctor Franklin's. The idea was certainly one of the most sublime ever suggested to the human imagination. That mortal man should thus be taught to disarm the clouds of heaven, and almost snatch from his hand the sceptre and the rod!'
The ancients would, no doubt, have enrolled among their gods the author of so wonderful and invention. Indeed, the reputation which Franklin acquired by it, not only in America, but in Europe, also, far transcended all conception. His lightning rods, or, as the French called them, his paratonerres, erected their heads, not only on the temples of God and the palaces of kings, but also no the most of ships, and the habitations of ordinary citizens. The sight of them every where reminded the gazing world of the name and character of their inventor, who was though of by the multitude as some great magician, dwelling in the fairy lands of North America, and to whom God had given control over the elements of nature..."
The Life of Benjamin Franklin, by M. Carey, 1817
Illustration of Benjamin Franklin's bifocal lenses
Annals of Medical History, Volume 4, P. B. Hoeber, 1922
Learn more about the life of Benjamin FRANKLIN.
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