- January 17th 1706 – April 17th 1790
- Milk Street, Boston, Massachusetts
- Attended Boston Latin School, finished school at 10 years old
- Worked for brother James at New England Courant
- Developed the persona “Mrs. Silence Dogood” in order to send letters to the newspaper
- Writer, political theorist and artist, postmaster, scientist and an inventor
- Inventions include: the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin Stove, urinary catheter, the odometer and the glass harmonica
- He also discovered DST, learned about the early stages of electricity, created the first book lending library and the first fire department
Franklin as a Thinker
- Always wanted to learn about how things work
- Made a total of 8 voyages on the Atlantic Ocean
- Studied how ships and ocean currents worked
- Fascinated by meteorology
- “It is the working man who is the happy man, it is the idle man who is the miserable man”
- Shows that he loved gaining knowledge and loved learning about how things work
- Idea came to him while he was reading
- Was not able to read with his far sighted glasses on
- Created a new pair of glasses that allowed him to be both near and far sighted
- Took lenses from both sets of glasses and put them together
Electricity and the Lightning Rod
- People believed electricity was a form of fluid
- Franklin wanted to prove it was a free form, almost gaseous substance that could get attracted to certain materials
- 1750, tied a key to a kite string and flew it into a storm cloud
- Collected sparks from the cloud proving that it is a free forming substance
- From there he invented the lightning rod
- Simply a tall metal pole that is placed on buildings so that lightning will strike the pole and not the building below
- Franklin was very musically inclined
- Instrument where sound is made by rubbing fingers of the edges of bowls or glasses
- Got the idea from seeing someone making music by rubbing wine glasses with different amounts of water in each one
- Placed 37 different sizes of bowls in between each other
- The rims were painted different colours to let the played know which bowls made which note
- Many variations are still used and played today
The Franklin Stove
- Winters were very harsh and cold
- People made open fires in their homes for warmth
- Franklin invented the Franklin Stove as a safer alternative to heating houses
- He invented a cast iron open box with holes in the back so that smoke could go out the chimney
- It allowed people to heat their home in a safer way and with less wood.
Franklin as a Writer
- First book he wrote was “Poor Richards Almanac”
- Yearly book containing things like weather forecasts, puzzles, calendars, and poems
- Publishing went from 1732 – 1758
- Later published “The Way to Wealth”
- Contained parts from his almanacs and focused on the theme of ethics and frugality
Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "Benjamin Franklin: Biography, Bifocals, Lighting Rod, Harmonica, Stove," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019, https://schoolworkhelper.net/benjamin-franklin-biography-bifocals-lighting-rod-harmonica-stove/.
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