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"Big Ben... Not the Clock or Rothlesberger"

4 years 1 month 2 weeks ago March 12, 2013 Mar 12, 2013 Tuesday, March 12 2013 March 12, 2013 3:00 AM in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton

It may be safe to note that we've settled into the time change. Ben Franklin's embraced using more daylight time in 1783. He also invented the Franklin stove and bifocals. His first experiment determined whether electricity and lightning had exact characteristics. To test whether clouds were electrified, he proposed placing a manned sentry box on top of a high tower, holding a wire loop connected to an iron rod pointing 20 to 30 feet into the storm clouds. As noted in a previous column, Franklin never performed the experiment, but French academic Thomas Daliband did in 1752. He placed a 40-foot iron rod on a wooden pallet, insulated from the ground with wine bottles. A storm approached, the wires were connected to the tower and sparks flew from the rod.

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