When Was the Lightning Rod Invented?

In 1749, Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod in North America during the course of his explorations into the nature of electricity. Franklin wrote about his invention known as the "lightning attractor" and the "Franklin rod," outlining its specifications for the protection of homes and sailing vessels, in 1753.

Benjamin Franklin was inspired to invent the lightning rod to protect homes from the damaging fires caused by lightning strikes. Lightning rods and conductors attract the electricity generated by a lightning strike. Conductive wires and electrodes attached to the lightning rod direct the electricity safely to the grounding rod or ground.