Georg Wilhelm Richmann was attending a meeting at the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences in August 1753 when he heard thunder. He ran home with another man, hoping to record how an insulated rod responded to an electrical storm.
He succeeded, in a way: A ball of lightning leapt from the rod and struck Richmann in the head, killing him instantly and knocking his companion unconscious. That makes Richmann the first person in history to die while conducting electrical experiments.
Joseph Priestley wrote, “It is not given to every electrician to die in so glorious a manner as the justly envied Richmann.” That’s one way to look at it.