Object Name: thunder house
Dimensions: 36 x 25.5 x 18 cm (14 3/16 x 10 1/16 x 7 1/16 in.)
Description: Thunder house of tin, Paris, ca. 1790-1830. From Instrument Card: "LIGHTNING HOUSE. Small metal house and round tower like a lighthouse, a large twin lightning rod on the tower. The house contains receptacle presumably for explosive powder which when ignited collapsed the house with the blast - sides of the house are on hinges."
The thunder house was a demonstration device to show the effectiveness of lightning rods in preserving buildings from lightning strikes.
A video demonstration of a thunder house by the Fondazione Scienza e Tecnica in Florence is available on Youtube here
Provenance: Gift to David Wheatland in Paris, 1963.