Mystery Behind Franklin's Electrical Kite

Ben Ruhe
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The most famous single kite flight in history is unquestionably Ben Franklin's successful attempt to draw lightning from a cloud. Firm and fixed in legend, the episode turns out to be dim and mystifying in fact.

A voluminous writer all his life, Franklin himself never wrote the story of the most dramatic of all his own experiments. All that is known about what he did on that famous day in Philadelphia, of no known date, comes from an account by Joseph Priestley, published 15 years later.

The account though was read by Franklin and it is surmised he must have given the author the precise, familiar details.

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