Benjamin Franklin Flies a Kite
June 10, 1752
Reportedly on this day, flying his kite, Benjamin Franklin identifies lightning as electricity.
According to Franklin’s description of the experiment, a silk kite with string that led to a key was to be flown during the early stages of a storm. The kite had a separate silk string that was attached to the kite string near the key. The kite flyer was to stand under a shelter so that he and the silk string stayed dry protecting them from the electric charge. It is unlikely the kite was struck by lightning, as this would have probably seriously injured Franklin, but simply gathered electricity from the storm as Franklin predicted it would.