June 18, 1931
This is not a photograph of the Empire State Building struck by lightning.
It is a picture of a model of New York City hit by 5,000,000 volts of man-made lightning to test the measure of protection the mighty Empire State tower gives to surrounding buildings.
Around the tower is a "cone of protection" in which lightning will not strike, report General Electric Co. engineers.
Negative no. 51159
5,000,000-VOLT BOLT OF ARTIFICIAL LIGHTNING STRIKING MODEL OF NEW YOUR CITY DURING EXPERIMENTS TO ESTABLISH THE PROTECTION OFFERED BY THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING TO SURROUNDING STRUCTURES FROM DIRECT STROKES OF LIGHTNING. THIS PHOTOGRAPH WAS PRODUCED IN THE HIGH-VOLTAGE ENGINEERING LABORATORY AT THE PITTSFIELD WORKS OF THE GENERAL ELECTRIC CO.
Original Caption by Science Service