Philada Thursday July 12, 1753
ON Sunday last about 45 minutes after 3 in the morning a dwelling house, one of a continued row on the west side of Second street in this town, was struck by lightning, but, being at that time untenanted, no person was hurt. About 6 o'clock the same morning, I went to take a view thereof, and at that time made some notes of the course which I observed the lightning to have taken in its passage, and also of some of its effects on the house, when they appeared to me not unworthy of notice.
The course is as follows, viz.
The lightning, or matter thereof, (supposing it to have enter'd at the top of the house, as is the general receiv'd opinion,) first struck the southeast corner of the eastermost chimney; from which place it can be trac'd downwards, by cracks and other marks on the south side of the chimney, in a diagonal line, to the bottom of a kind of bulk-head, or place rais'd above the roof, to go out on the top of the house, and reaching from one chimney to the other; that it then appears to have gone up the E. side of the roof, near the edge of the S. side of the bulk-head to the ridge, and from thence descended the W. side of the roof, by the like way, to the bulkhead door, which it split, and melted part of an iron staple on the inside of the westermost
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Publication information: Book title: The Ingenious Dr. Franklin:Selected Scientific Letters of Benjamin Franklin. Contributors: Nathan G. Goodman - Editor, Benjamin Franklin - Author. Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press. Place of publication: Philadelphia. Publication year: 1931. Page number: 117.
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