In the 1740's electricity mystified individuals. It was used to create magic tricks by creating sparks and shocks. Scientist would conduct experiments with electricity but electricity was not thought of as useful.
It would take Benjamin Franklin and a thunderstorm to change that fact. Franklin always curious and inventive thinker wanted to find out more about electricity. He had notices similarities between lightning and electric sparks. They both created light, made loud crashes when exploded, attracted to metal, to name just a few.
Franklin used a kite to get close enough to the clouds. Since Philadelphia had no hills or tall buildings he used a silk handkerchief, a couple of sticks and string. During a thunderstom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Benjamin Franklin set out to prove lightnng is electricity. His tools being used was a kite with an iron key suspended from the kite.
Franklin used this knowledge to create a lightning rod. The lightning rod was made of metal and attached to the highest point on a house. When the lightning hits the rod instead of the house the lightning current goes into the ground and leaves the house undamaged.
One of Benjamin Franklin's famous sayings
"There are two ways of being happy: We must either diminish our wants or augment our means - either may do - the result is the same and it is for each man to decide for himself and to do that which happens to be easier."
-- Benjamin Franklin