It's June 15th ~ Happy Fly A Kite Day!

clockwork franchise, mister sparky electric,We have Benjamin Franklin to thank for much of our knowledge about electricity. And today we honor him and his famous kite flying experiment.

History gives us a couple of versions of this event. In June 1752 Franklin is said to have used conductive rods to attract lightning to a Leyden jar, an early form of capacitor. The experiment was said to have been carried out on the spire atop Christ Church in Philadelphia. However, doubts have been expressed about whether Franklin actually performed the experiment in this way.

Franklin and Electricity

According to Wikipedia Franklin realized the dangers of using conductive rods and instead used his son to fly the kite. No cause for alarm! Franklin insulated his son by keeping the string of the kite dry in his son's hands. The rest of his son got wet in the rain to provide the conductivity. A house key was attached to the string and connected to the jar which Franklin assumed would accumulate electricity from the lightning.

The kite wasn't struck by visible lightning but Franklin did notice that the strings of the kite were repelling each other and deduced that the Leyden jar was being charged.

Franklin moved his hand near the key afterwards, because as he had estimated, lightning had negatively charged the key and the Leyden jar. The electrical shock to Franklin's hand proved beyond any doubt that lightning is an electrical phenomenon.

Because this famous event took place in June, the midpoint in the month has become Fly A Kite Day. And so we honor Franklin and his famous experiment.

Mister Sparky electric honors electricians, and the skilled trades, every day. To quote Benjamin Franklin, "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." Take 15 minutes to explore the benefits of franchising your company.

This vignette (above) Franklin and Electricity (c.1860) was used on $10 national bank notes from the 1860s to 1890s.