In an act "to regulate the sale of lightning rods in this Commonwealth," approved on April 19, 1886, the legislature required that all salesmen of lightning rods obtain from the Auditor of Public Accounts a two-hundred-and-fifty-dollar license. The person who obtained the license was entitled to employ three salesmen and operate one wagon. Each additional salesman required a license fee of eighty dollars, and each additional wagon required a license fee of two hundred and fifty dollars.
Lightning rod advertisement from Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalogue of 1927. By the twentieth century, Kentuckians could purchase an amazing variety of items, even lightening rods, via mail-order catalogue. Some of these "lightning attractors" were plain, but others were highly decorative. Some were decorated with glass balls that shattered when struck, indicating that the owner needed to check for damage. Kentucky Historical Society Collections.