Picture of Ben Franklin
Tracey Keifer. Emilio Segre Visual Archives. American Institute of Physics.
Ben Franklin was an American scientist and statesman who lived between 1706-1790. At a time when little was known about electricity, he carried out many experiments to learn of its dangers and possible uses.
Franklin's famous kite experiment led to his invention of the lightning rod, which protects buildings and ships from lightning damage. His other inventions included bifocals, the Franklin Stove, which heats houses more safely than a fireplace, and the odometer, which measures distances travelled by vehicles.
Franklin was also a Founding Father of the United States. He signed the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and worked on a Peace treaty that helped to end the American Revolution.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games
section of our online store
includes a climate change card game
and the Traveling Nitrogen game
You might also be interested in:
How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more
Charles Darwin was an English Naturalist who lived between 1809-1882. In 1859, with the publication of The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, he challenged existing views on the appearance...more
Christian Doppler was an Austrian mathematician who lived between 1803-1853. He is known for the principle he first proposed in Concerning the coloured light of double stars in 1842. This principle is...more
Ben Franklin was an American scientist and statesman who lived between 1706-1790. At a time when little was known about electricity, he carried out many experiments to learn of its dangers and possible...more
Edmond Halley was an English astronomer who lived between 1656-1742. Using historical records, his own observations, and Newton's universal law of gravitation, he reasoned that the comets which had appeared...more
William Herschel was born in Germany and lived in England while he worked as an astronomer. He lived between 1738-1822. He built reflecting telescopes of high magnification, that let him observe the universe...more
Christian Huygens was a Dutch physicist and astronomer who lived between 1629-1695. He found new methods for grinding and polishing lenses, making telescopes more powerful. Using a telescope he had made,...more
James Clerk Maxwell was a Scottish physicist who lived between 1831-1879. He studied Saturn's rings and suggested that they were composed of solid particles. This theory was confirmed 100 years later...more