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LIGHTNING CONDUCTOR, 1950's
Used near Aerial lines but slightly higher, to attract lightning away from the aerial.
A direct strike would not protect very much as the voltage would be high enough not only damage the aerial but also anything in the proximity of the wiring, however a near strike would send all received voltages to ground.
In the case of Sheet lightning whole areas can be ionised causing the atmosphere to glow blue in colour, such strikes are generally dissipated and without the conductor wired to ground certain damage would occur.
The base is for display only.
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- I thought these were sold as "wireless aerials" by snake oil merchants of the day. Of course, it was the down lead that was doing all the work.
.......... Keith, Tewkesbury, UK, 29th of November 2009