“It is well known that there is a constant emission of hydrogen from the decomposition of various substances; and that this gas, being buoyant, has a tendency to rise to the surface of the atmosphere. According to one view, there is therefore no doubt that immense quantities of this inflammable substance abound in the upper regions, and that a spark of electric fire would envelope the world in flames. The only circumstance preventing such conflagration is that the region of excitable electricity is several miles below that of the inflammable air.”
—Scientific American, August 1846
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