[Possible portrait of early American statesmen and inventor Ben Franklin conducting his famous lightening experiment with his son. In 1752, Franklin flew a kite with a metal key attached during a thunderstorm to prove that lightening was made of electricity. Although European scientists were already conducting similar experiments with electricity, Franklin is credited as the first one to propose using a metal rod or some other conductor to draw off electricity from lightening. Franklin's scientific achievements won him the admiration of Enlightenment intellectuals in Europe and North America and secured his reputation as a leading scientist.
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