Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Electrical Engineering


It was Ben Franklin who first showed that the lighting of the skies was the same electricity produced by Leyden jar or a static generator. However, lightening remained just a terrible phenomenon that one protected oneself against using Franklin’s lightning rods, the little else known or cared about it until the end of the 19th century. Man then began to study lightening in earnest because he had started transmitting electricity power over transmission lines which were subject to lightening and, to protect them, more had to be known about the behavior and characteristics of lightning strokes. Methods also had to be devised to test the safeguards that were installed to prove they would really work. The first engineering study of lightening was undertaken by Steinmetz and his coworkers at Schenectady, New York. He built the first artificial lightening generator in 1923 at his laboratory and used it to investigate and observe the effects of controlled lightening strokes. (see more in text)

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Electric switchgear




South Dakota State University