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In 1949, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) selected Karl B. McEachron as the recipient of the Edison Medal. He was cited "for his contributions to the advancement of electrical science in the field of lightning and other high voltage phenomena and for the application of his knowledge to the design and protection of electric apparatus system." Lightning has been a subject of great interest to scientists, engineers, and the public at least since Benjamin Franklin's pioneering research and his invention of protective lightning rods in the eighteenth century. During his professional career, McEachron employed innovative ways to collect data on lightning. Also, he discovered more effective devices and techniques to reduce or prevent damage from lightning.