A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Don Seltzer
Date: 2019 Jan 9, 16:47 -0800
Lightning rods and chains on ship masts date back to the 1700's. Capt Cook describes their use during his first voyage.
What surprises me about Melville's description is of the conducting wire running through the mast. Haven't seen that anywhere else, and it doesn't sound practical.
I made it about 3/4 through Moby Dick before giving up.