Lightning Strikes: The Philadelphia Experiment of Benjamin Franklin

THE FIRST PODCAST How much do you know about one of the most famous scientific experiments in American history?

In 1752 Benjamin Franklin and his son William performed a dangerous act of experimentation, conjuring one of nature’s most lethal powers from the air itself. This tale — with the kite and the key — has entered American urban legend. But it did not happen quite the way you learned about it in school. (Did you know somebody died trying to duplicate Franklin’s astonishing feat?)

In this second chapter of The Invention of Benjamin Franklin, the inventor becomes an international celebrity thanks to his clear writing style and pragmatic outlook. Not only would he change the field of electrical sciences, he would even change the English language.

PLUS: London inspires the invention of a beautiful glass instrument, capturing the music of the 18th century.

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LIGHTNING STRIKES: BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT