Section of lightning conductor from St Paul’s cathedral

Made:
1769
Portion of lightning conductor from St. Paul's Cathedral, c. 1769 Portion of lightning conductor from St. Paul's Cathedral, c. 1769 Portion of lightning conductor from St. Paul's Cathedral, c. 1769

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Portion of lightning conductor from St. Paul's Cathedral, c. 1769
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Portion of lightning conductor from St. Paul's Cathedral, c. 1769
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Portion of lightning conductor from St. Paul's Cathedral, c. 1769
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Iron bar which formed one section of the lightning conductor installed on St. Paul’s cathedral, London, in 1769, as recommended by a Royal Society committee. This bar remained in place until 1899.

A damaging lightning strike close to London’s St Paul’s cathedral in 1764 led to concern about how to protect the magnificent building designed by Sir Christopher Wren. An influential Royal Society committee, whose members were James Robertson, William Watson, Benjamin Wilson, Henry Cavendish, and Benjamin Franklin, devised a framework of iron bars to be installed on the structure, of which this bar is one section.

Unfortunately lightning did subsequently damage the cathedral in 1773, but the committee concluded that their specifications had been executed incorrectly.

Details

Category:
Geophysics
Object Number:
1907-57
type:
lightning protection
taxonomy:
  • functions
  • functions (activities)
  • maintaining
  • protection
credit:
Killingworth Hedges