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 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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