Lightning Rod Hat

AKA "Le chapeau paratonnerre." Details from Amelia Soth on JStor Daily:

According to the popular science writer Louis Figueir, all the excitement about the new knowledge of electricity led to an odd trend: in his recounting, Paris in the 1770s saw a fad for ladies’ lightning-rod caps, trimmed with metallic thread connecting to a cord that dragged along the ground. The (extremely flawed) theory was that the cord would carry a lightning bolt harmlessly away from the wearer. He also writes of a lightning-rod umbrella proposed by one of Ben Franklin’s acolytes, Jacques Barbeu-Dubourg. The umbrella would be surmounted with a metal pole and trail a silver braid to bear away the charge.

image source: wikimedia

A more recent version of a lightning-rod hat:

Tampa Bay Times - Aug 16, 1975

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 21, 2022
     Category: Headgear | Weather | Eighteenth Century

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