Lightning conductor, c 1749.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This is a replica of an early lightning conductor erected by Franklin in America, c 1749. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was famous for his experiments on electricity, which began in 1746. His most famous experiment used a kite with a wet string to charge a Leyden jar, in 1752. However, prior to that he had experimented on discharges from pointed objects and developed this lightning conductor.