Benjamin Franklin Papers

Request for Information on Lightning, 21 June 1753

Request for Information on Lightning

Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette, June 21, 1753.1

Those of our Readers in this and the neighbouring Provinces, who may have an Opportunity of observing, during the present Summer, any of the Effects of Lightning on Houses, Ships, Trees, &c. are requested to take particular Notice of its Course,2 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.

1Also printed in New-York Mercury, June 25, 1753, and Boston Weekly News-Letter, July 5, 1753.

2BF was particularly interested at this time in the idea “that, for the most part in Thunder-Strokes, ’tis the Earth that strikes into the Clouds, and not the Clouds that strike into the earth.” BF to Collinson, September 1753.

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