Benjamin Franklin, scientist, ready to kick butt.
by David Ng
Some science trivia from wikipedia to go with this awesome picture:
“In 1750 he published a proposal for an experiment to prove that lightning is electricity by flying a kite in a storm that appeared capable of becoming a lightning storm. On May 10, 1752 Thomas-François Dalibard of France conducted Franklin’s experiment using a 40-foot (12 m)-tall iron rod instead of a kite, and he extracted electrical sparks from a cloud. On June 15 Franklin may possibly have conducted his famous kite experiment in Philadelphia, successfully extracting sparks from a cloud. Franklin’s experiment was not written up with credit until Joseph Priestley’s 1767 History and Present Status of Electricity; the evidence shows that Franklin was insulated (not in a conducting path, where he would have been in danger of electrocution). Others, such as Prof. Georg Wilhelm Richmann were indeed electrocuted during the months following Franklin’s experiment.”
“Franklin was, along with his contemporary Leonhard Euler, the only major scientist who supported Christiaan Huygens’ wave theory of light, which was basically ignored by the rest of the scientific community. In the 18th century Newton’s corpuscular theory was held to be true; only after Young’s famous slit experiment (1803) were most scientists persuaded to believe Huygens’ theory.”