The experiment "Electric Kite" outlined on page 134 of "The Young Man`s Book of Amusement" is, without doubt, the most dangerous activity the book encourages. It is almost unbelievable that death, as a probable experimental outcome, is not mentioned.
Franklin was fortunate with his famous kite experiment in 1752. Some idea of the power available from a kite flying under thunder clouds can be gathered from this entertaining account:
These phenomena are not the result of lighning actually striking the kite. It is unclear whether or not the apparatus of the unfortunate Professor Richman was struck, or whether accumulated charge caused his demise.
Please don`t experiment with lightning