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Arcs and Sparks

This General Electric circuit breaker is from this author's collection of technological artifacts. It has a 1901 patent and was manufactured in 1911. Notice the open air carbon tipped contacts. Equipment like this produced arcs while interrupting faults. In the last 150 years many arcs and sparks have been produced by many types of equipment. The author knows of only one ball of lightning produced by an arc. The lightning ball has proven to be very elusive.