Sunday, February 13, 2011

1890 Lightning Strike

Last fall, either high winds or possibly a lightning strike took down a tree on Church Street, causing a branch to fall upon a passerby, knocking that person to the ground, and breaking one of her legs. It made the news, both print media and video.

In 1890, all news such as this was written up for the paper. Following are a couple of examples of lightning strikes in the village:

On Friday afternoon during the storm that passed to the east of this village, lightning struck a maple tree in front of the residence of Mrs. Ann Newman, and running down the tree, divided; one ball going under the sidewalk and out into the road and the other tearing up the ground in the yard. Mrs. L.S. Palmerton and her daughter had just passed the tree and Mr. J.A. Canfield was but a short distance from the spot. All three were considerably shocked but fortunately, not seriously.

As well as,

During the storm on Monday, lightning came down the stovepipe in the residence of Mr. Dewitt Melvin, about two miles west and a little north of this village and struck Mr. Wm. Dickinson, of near Ithaca, and two little girls who were visiting at Mr. Melvin's, as they lay upon the floor. Mr. Dickinson lay near the stove, and as the fluid left the stove, it struck him on the left shoulder and run down his side and down his leg, ripping off his pants and tearing open his boot leg and tearing off a part of the sole. A current from the other stove leg ran across his knees and out through the opposite side of the house. It struck one of the children, Francis Dickinson, in the back of the neck and ran down her spine and left leg to her foot, rendering her unconscious for about 20 minutes. Arvilla Gott was struck just at the edge of the hair and it ran down her left side and across her stomach down the left leg. Mr. Dickinson was unconscious for some time and his limbs were very badly swollen and he is still in a rather precarious condition. Dr. C.H. Lamoreaux was called and reduced the swelling by the application of a battery and the patient is doing as well as possible.After reading the above article, I went in search of an 1890 "battery." As it turns out, batteries (such as shown above) were used in various medical treatments, including sometimes hair removal.

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