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1934 - fulgurite is formed by discharge of artificial lightning into a pile of sand


E&MP 72.022

Artificial Lightning

September 18, 1934

Fulgarite [sic] formed by discharge of artificial lightning into a pile of sand. The fulgarite [sic] is a many-branched tube of fused sand.

Pittsfield high-voltage laboratory - General Electric Company.

(enlarged from motion-picture frame) 3171


Original Caption by Science Service
© General Electric

additional information:

December 1998 - University of South Florida - Institute For Research In Art - NEA


A general description of a fulgurite is a vitreous tube and
crust formed by the fusion of sand by lightning. There are two
basic types of fulgurites that have been recognized. The most
common, or at least commonly found, is a sand fulgurite, which
fits the above general definition. The other type is called a rock
fulgurite, as is formed when lightning strikes solid rock and
creates a superficial coating of glass. The word ‘fulgurite’ comes
from the Latin word ‘fulgur’ which means lightning.

Bayley, W.S. 1982. “A fulgurite from Waterville, Maine.” American Journal of Science, 3rd Ser., vol. 31, pp. 327-328.

Diller, J.S. 1884. “Fulgurite from Mt. Thielson, Oregon.” American Journal of Science, 3rd Ser., vol. 28, pp. 252- 258.

Frenzel, G. and Ottemann, J. 1978. “Blitzglaser vom Katzenbuckel, Odenvald, und ihre Ahnlichkett mit Tektiten.” (abstract) Neues Jahrb. Min., Mh., 439-446.

Frenzel, G. and Stahle, V. 1982. “Blitzglas am Feridotit vom Frankenstein bei Darmstadt.” (abstract) Chemie der Erde, vol. 41, no. 2, pp.111-119

Frenzel, G. and Stahle, V. 1989. “Uber Alumosil mit Lechaterdierit-Einschlussen von einer Fulguritrohre des Hahnenstokces” (abstract) Chemie der Erde, vol. 43, no. 1, pp.17-26.

Frenzel, G. and Irouschek-Zumthor, A., and Stahle, V 1989. “Stosswellmetamorphose, Aufschmelzung und Verdampfung bei Fulguritbildung an exponierten Berggipfeln.” Chemie der Erde, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 265-286.

Frondel, C. 1962. Dana’s System of Minerology, vol. 3, New York: Wiley, pp. 321-329.

“Fulgurite.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 1968 ed. Gailliot, M.P. 1980. “Petrified Lightning: a discussion of sand fulgurites.” Rocks and Minerals, vol. 55, pp. 13-17.

Griffen, Dana T. 1992. Silicate Crystal Chemistry. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-6.

Hitchcock, 1861. (Note on finding of fulgurite at Northfield Farms, Mass,) American Journal of Science, 2nd ser.,
vol. 31, p. 302.

Hobbs, William H. 1899. “A spiral fulgerite from Wiscon sin.” American Journal of Science, 4th ser., vol. 8, pp. 17-20.

Julien, Alexis A. 1901. “A study of the structure of fulgurites.” Journal of Geology, vol. 9, pp. 673-693.

Myers, W. M. and Peck, Albert B., 1925. “A fulgurite from South Amboy, New Jersey.” The American Mineralo gist, vol. 10, pp. 152-155

Petty, Julien J. 1936. “The Origin and Occurance of Fulgurites in the Atlantic Coastal Plain.” American Journal of Science, 3rd ser., vol. 31, pp. 188-210.

Plummer, Charles C. 1991. Physical Geology, 5th ed., Dubuque: William C. Brown.
Rogers, Austin F. 1916. “Sand Fulgurites with enclosed echatelierite from Riverside County, California.” Journal of Geology, vol 34, pp. 117-122.

Williams, D. J. and Johnston, W. 1980. “A note on the formation of Fulgurites.” Geology Magazine, vol. 117, pp. 293-296.

DECEMBER 4, 1992



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