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kapuerajam's avatar

Mythbusters vs. Ben?

Asked by kapuerajam (917points) October 5th, 2008 from iPhone

text books talk about ben flying the kite, mythbusters said he couldn’t have or he would have died which is true?

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4 Answers

JackAdams's avatar

Many stories told about deceased historical figures are apocryphal, and not intended to be actually believed.

For one thing, when you examine the story carefully, what kind of supposedly intelligent person, would attempt to fly any kind of kite, during a thunderstorm?

Also, the story about that kid who chopped down the cherry tree (then confessed to his father) was stictly a legend, told to enhance the existence of the person of whom the legend was created. And they get exaggerated over the years, too.

For example, this one guy fed 5 people with 2 fish and a loaf of bread, but 2,000 years later, the story is told that he fed 5,000.

Ridiculous, of course…

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I thought you meant Ben as in Ben. This question is a disappointment.

marinelife's avatar

I looked at a bunch of sources, and I think this one as the most logical explanation and significant historical detail:

“It is difficult to establish whether or not Franklin ever flew the kite in the lightning storm. We do know that he published an article in 1750 in which he proposed conducting an experiment during which one would fly a kite in a storm that appeared likely to produce lightning. Two years later, a Frenchmen named Thomas-Francois Balibard did conduct the experiment although he used a 40 foot iron rod instead of a kite.

Franklin may have conducted his experiment on June 15th in 1752. This is difficult to prove because he left no record of it at all. The first mention of the experiment apart from the paper Franklin wrote theorizing that it was possible, did not come until fifteen years later in a book called “History and Present State of Electricity” by Joseph Priestley. Although Franklin read an early version of the book and presumably related the details of his experience to Priestly, he never made any mention of it himself. It seems unlikely that he would never speak of an experiment he had risked his life to perform if he had actually performed it, so we should remain skeptical of the traditional story.”

fireside's avatar

I wonder how Balibard managed to fly a 40 foot iron rod…

I agree with all three of the above answers, Franklin was his biggest fan, so I think that he would have left some kind of record.

You should know better than to question Mythbusters

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