The first photo of lightning in the world!

On 2 September 1882, photographer William Jennings took the very first photo of lightning. This was very important step for further studies on the structure of lightning.

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Thanks to the photos taken by Jennings, scientists were able to see various clear examples of the electrical discharges that lead to a lightning strike.

Lots of artists draw lightning as a zigzag and this is exactly what confused the photographer. Jennings proved them wrong. Lightning can take various shapes. This was proven by the photos.

Jennings thought of his own names for every lightning shape he captured. For example, there is lightning shaped like peculiar "branches" formed by electrical discharges on one of the photos. Jennings also took photos of such lightning shapes as "chain", "ribbon", and "multiple flash", when lightning is accompanied by several following discharges. One of the interesting shapes of this natural phenomenon is the "wandering flash" that occurs mainly during a storm and passes from cloud to cloud.

We can assert that Jennings the photographer discovered the unexplored and great phenomenon of lightning from a completely different side in his works. The Award Committee of the Franklin Institute made a report on the varieties of lightning shapes based on Jenning's photos.

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