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Object Name: thunder house
Date: 1790-1830
Inventory Number: DW0841
Classification: Thunder House
Maker: French ?
Cultural Region: France
City of Origin: Paris
Dimensions: 36 x 25.5 x 18 cm (14 3/16 x 10 1/16 x 7 1/16 in.)
Materials: tin, metal, brass
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."
Signed: unsigned
Function: 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.
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