Be careful out there!  From the May 22, 1913 Skidmore New Era, page 2:

Shocked by Lightning Over Telephone

Mrs. J. D. Montgomery was quite badly shocked by lightning Monday morning while talking over the telephone.  The lightning striking the wire, ran into the phone over which she was talking and knocked her down.  The concussion was so severe that she was deaf for an hour after receiving the shock.  The lightning burned the wire off in a hundred different places from one inch to twelve inches long and would have undoubtedly killed Mrs. Montgomery, but the force was checked by a ground wire at the house.

This incident reminds us all how extremely dangerous a telephone is during an electric shower and shoudl be a warning against using them at that time when it can possibly be avoided.

There were over two hundred feet of wire burned up, many short pieces were literally melted and welded together as they fell to the ground.  Nothing could have saved Mrs. Montgomery’s life had there been no ground wire.

If you are not sure that your lightning arrester is properly connected, or your ground wire is in good condition, you had better consult the manager of the telephone company, who will be glad to advise you fully.  This is the season of electric storms and no telling when any of us may be liable to the same trouble which Mrs. Montgomery experienced.


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