[LB025044F], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Harlan Hoge Ballard, July 21st, 1887



I have your letter of the 17th instant. ## The subject which you suggest hardly admits of sufficient discussion for the production of a Newspaper article. There is no doubt whatever, that lightening rods are a source of great protection when buildings are properly equipped with them. In doing this it is necessary only to have metal of good conductivity, and a perfect connection with the earth at the bottom of the rod. If you will refer to a book published by Sir. William Snow Harris, who first introduced lightening rods in the British Navy and Mercantile Marine, you wil lfind this subject discussed at length. Before the introduction of lightening rods in the British Navy disasters at sea were quite frequent, and the subject of protecting their ships form this element of danger presented itself in a very serious light to the British Naval Officers. When Harris proposed equipping these ships with lightening rods, he was almost alone in the belief, that they would afford protection such as was desired. After a great deal of trouble he succeeded in having them adopted, since which I don't think there has been a single serious disaster from lightening in the British Navy, which is conclusive proof that Harris's theory was correct. The same applies to buildings or other structures of an inflamable nature erected on land, and when these are properly supplied with a sufficient number of lightening rods dependent upon their size, and the extent of ground covered by them, I believe that they are absolutely safe from all danger.








Folder Set



[LB025044F], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Harlan Hoge Ballard, July 21st, 1887

Microfilm ID



Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University