Protection from lightning; and a death

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I carried all my books & instruments on board the Beagle. It's a tight squeeze.

This evening I went to the Athaeneum & heard a popular lecture from Mr Harris on his lightning conductors. By means of making an Electric machine, a thunder cloud -- a tub of water the sea, & a toy for a line of battle ship he showed the whole process of it being struck by lightning & most satisfactorily proved how completely his plan protects the vessel from any bad consequences.

This plan consists in having plates of Copper folding over each other, let in in the masts & yards & so connected to the water beneath. -- The principle, from which these advantages are derived, owes its utility, to the fact that the Electric fluid is weakened by being transmitted over a large surface to such an extent that no effects are perceived, even when the mast is struck by the lightning: -- The Beagle is fitted with conductors on this plan; it is very probable, we shall be the means of trying & I hope proving the utility of its effects.

About six oclock, a Marine, being drunk & whilst crossing from the Hulk to another vessel slipped overboard & was not seen again. His body has not been found. --

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This page contains a single entry by Charles Darwin published on November 21, 1831 11:15 PM.

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