Your fave illustration of Franklin’s kite experiment is likely riddled with errors

Enlarge / Hand-colored lithograph published by Currier & Ives in 1876, probably the most widely distributed illustration of Benjamin Franklin’s kite experiment. Franklin is wrongly shown to be holding the string in one hand above where the key is attached.Public domain

Most Americans are familiar with the story of Benjamin Franklin and his famous 18th century experiment in which he attached a metal key to a kite during a thunderstorm to see if the lightning would pass through the metal. That’s largely due to many iconic illustrations commemorating the event that found their way into the popular imagination and became part

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