May 27, 1939
Now man-made lightning, like Nature's bolts, can set fires, it has been demonstrated by Westinghouse. [partial text found of the article]
... enormously destructive explosive effects on whatever they hit unless it is adequately protected, they did not last long enough to set fire to combustible targets, only leaving a scorched hole.
The after stroke of "hot" lightning generates temperatures only half as high as the main stroke, but it lasts between 100 and 1,000 times as long.
The long-duration charge is produced by means of additional capacitators[sic] on a transformer from which the charge is "soaked" through a series of resistance and induction coils in oil and permitted to follow the initial high current discharge relatively slowly. In demonstrations, "hot lightning" fused sand in a fiber tube, set fire to cotton cloth, and burned holes through copper sheets varying from one thirty-second to one-sixteenth of an inch thick.
Original Caption by Science Service