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Pat Shingleton: "Spiders and Lightning..."

1 year 1 month 2 weeks ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 October 19, 2018 9:00 AM October 19, 2018 in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton:

In October of 1881 a bunch of spiders spun a web that was observed from Milwaukee to Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  Acts of God, The Old Farmer’s Almanac noted that it wasn’t rainfall that caused the huge cobweb but the migratory habits of a certain species of spiders.  The spiders reportedly spun their silk and with the breeze on the western shore of Lake Michigan, they tagged along for a long ride.  Residents believed that the webs came across the lake nearly 100 miles away then began their decent to the ground.  In Green Bay, Wisconsin residents noted the strong, white strands which varied greatly in size. Some were mere specks while others were 60 feet in length, thickly filling the sky as far as the eye could see.  Another item, Ben Franklin is recognized as an inventor that, include his experiments with lightning. He was inspired by other inventors and scientists, especially French academic, Thomas Dalibard who actually performed the first lightning experiment. Franklin desired to duplicate Dalibard's experiment and did so from Philadelphia's Christ Church on October 19, 1752. According to his diary, Franklin made a cross of two light sticks, reaching the four corners of a   hankerchief. Attached to the top of the stick was a sharp, pointed wire and to the end of the twine, silk ribbon and a key. The exact location of Franklin's experiment places it possibly in mid-June in a now vacant lot near the intersection of Eighteenth and Spring streets in Philadelphia.

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