Tuesday, June 15, 2021

National Electricity Day

National Electricity Day takes place on the anniversary of the date in 1752 when Benjamin Franklin flew a kite in a thunderstorm, with the intent of proving lightning was caused by a discharge of electricity (some sources say he flew his kite on June 10).

His experiment led to further understanding of positive and negative charges, the proving that lightning was an electrical discharge, and to the invention of the lightning rod — which provided a safe way to discharge electricity and a way to prevent fires. Lightning rods are still used today to protect buildings, ships, and people.

Franklin began his experiments with electricity in 1747 and began hypothesizing about the connection between electricity and lightning two years later.

Image: "Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky" by Benjamin West, circa 1816.

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