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Thread: Benjamin Franklin's Hemp String.

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    Benjamin Franklin's Hemp String.

    THE CHILD'S BOOK OF NATURE. By Worthington Hooker, M.D. 1888. Harper & Brothers, New York. In Chapter XXX, More About Electricity, Hooker explains Benjamin Franklin's experiment by which he discovered that lightning and electricity are the same thing. Franklin sent his silk kite up in a thunderstorm with a pointed iron wire attached to the kite and the string. The silk was a non-conductor, while the string conducted the electricity to the ground. "But he managed to prevent the electricity from coming to his hand. He stopped it on the way. He did this by tying a silk ribbon to the hemp string, and holding the kite by this ribbon, as you see in the picture. The electricity could not go through this silk, and so it stayed in the hemp string."

    "Dr. Franklin now fastened a key to the end of the hemp string. A great deal of the electricity now passed to the key, because the metal of which the key was made was so good, when Franklin put his knuckle near the key, he received a shock from it."
    These experiments by Franklin suggested the use of lightning rods, which he invented. A lightning rod saved the museum curator's house, when a homemade lightning rod carried a huge bolt of lightning to a metal rod pounded eight feet into the ground. The blast was tremendous, but only two radios were lost, thanks to Ben.
    Last edited by MsRedEye; 08-22-2008 at 09:01 PM.
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