Franklin's Many Inventions
A Life Filled With Creativity
Many people know who Benjamin Franklin is, but he accomplished much more in his life than most people have probably read about. Ben Franklin led a storied life as a founding father of the United States of America, but he didn't play just one role as an American hero. Franklin was a civic activist, revolutionary, philosopher, printer, and maybe most importantly of all, he was an inventor.
Everyone has heard the story of Benjamin Franklin flying a kite in a lightning storm, but did you know he was responsible for inventing the lightning rod? Not only that, but he also invented the bifocals to aid in reading, as well as the Franklin stove.
Ben Franklin: What Did He Invent?
The Franklin Stove
Although Benjamin Franklin didn't invent the stove itself, he certainly made some improvements to the existing model. For example, his new "Franklin Stove" burned much cleaner than previous versions up to that time. This stove is so effective that some people still use it today (although not that many, obviously), so do not be surprised to see Franklin Stove pictures taken from modern houses. But the reason people can use the Franklin Stove is because Ben Franklin didn't patent, just like he refused to patent all of his inventions. He did this because he believed more people would benefit from his inventions if he allowed anyone to construct and use them. What a guy!
Ben Franklin Bifocal Glasses
See What I Mean?
Another of Franklin's inventions is probably a tad more famous, because so many paintings of Franklin show him using this invention. That's right, we're talking about Ben Franklin's bifocal glasses, which again are an invention that is still popular today. How did he get the idea to invent Ben Franklin Bifocals? Franklin invented the lenses for spectacles for the purpose of allowing people to see farther away, as well as close up, without having to carry around two different pairs of glasses. It's all about convenience, you see (no pun intended).
The Lightning Rod
Drawing A Charge
One of the most well-known tales about Ben Franklin is his kite experiment, where he flew a key attached to a kite in a thunderstorm. This experiment actually led to the invention of two different items. The first of these was the lightning rod, which can draw the charge of electricity to it, leading it safely to the ground. Lightning rods also neutralize charges in clouds themselves, preventing lightning strikes (but only extremely high lightning rods can do this).
Another invention that came out of Franklin's kite experiment is the light bulb, although Franklin didn't come up with this one (hey, you can't invent everything by yourself). As we know, the light bulb is typically credited to Thomas Edison, but Franklin certainly laid the groundwork (er, cloud-work) for this invention with his kite and key experiment.
Benjamin Franklin wore many hats and played many roles in life, but one of the roles that continues to reward society the most is Franklin's time as an inventor. From the lightning rod to the Franklin Stove, all of his inventions are still of use today, and they will probably continue to be of use well into tomorrow.