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Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather by Mike Smith tells the story of our storm warning system. See our online store book collection.
Picture of Ben Franklin
Tracey Keifer. Emilio Segre Visual Archives. American Institute of Physics.

Ben Franklin

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 from lightning damage. His other inventions included bifocals, glasses that let you see both far and near, and a stove which heats houses more safely than a fireplace.

Franklin also worked on a Peace treaty between England, France, and the U.S. which ended the American Revolution.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA