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Benjamin Franklin’s Kite Experiment: What Do We Know?


On June 10, 1752, Benjamin Franklin took a kite out during a storm to see if a key attached to the string would draw an electrical charge. Or so the story goes. In fact, historians aren’t quite sure about the date of Franklin’s famous experiment, and some have questioned whether it took place at all.

Even if Franklin’s kite and key experiment did happen, it didn’t play out the way many people think it did. Contrary to popular myths, Franklin didn’t conduct the experiment to prove the existence of electricity. In addition, it’s very unlikely that lightning struck a key while Franklin was flying a kite—because if it had, Franklin probably would have died.





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