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.
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