Thursday, February 26, 2009

Benjamin Franklin

I am taking a literature class and have to write an essay on Benjamin Franklin. I found some entertaining information. I listed some of the things he invented. You may be surprised!

  • Ben had poor vision and needed glasses to read. He had two pairs of spectacles cut in half and put each in a single frame so he could see both near and far. Today we know them as bifocals.
  • Ben developed a flexible urinary catheter that appears to have been the first one produced in America. His brother John suffered from kidney stones.
  • He invented swim fins that divers wear.
  • He invented the armonica (a glass harmonica). While in England he attended a concert given on wine glasses. The loved the sweet sound and wanted to hear more harmonies with this type of melody.
  • Everyone knows the famous kite story. But Ben did not "invent" electricity. He did invent the lightning rod which protected buildings and ships from lightning damage.
  • Franklin Stove. In colonial America, most people warmed their homes with the fireplace, which was dangerous and used a lot of wood. Ben's invention of an iron furnance allowed people to warm their homes less dangerously and with less wood.
  • Ben also established the first fire company and first fire insurance company in order to help people live more safely.
  • Ben was also a postmaster. He figured out routes for delivering the mail. Even went out riding his carriage to measure the routes and invented a simple odometer.
  • Ben had a lot of books and it was difficult for him to reach them on high shelves. He invented a tool called "a long arm". It was a wooden pole with a grasping claw at the end.
  • This isn't an invention, but I found it interesting. Ben was a vegetarian!

I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit of information on one of our founding fathers.

6 pretty purplexing comments:

  1. have you watched the HBO special John Adams? We bought the DVD at costco it is really interesting 8 hours long but well worth the watch and it has alot of Ben Franklin in it as well. He was also quite the ladies man too!

  2. Yes he was a ladies man. Todd is a history teacher and knows all kinds of stories I didn't write about. That probably would have been more interesting! haha!

  3. Frau: I didn't watch John Adams. I'll have to pick it up next time we go to Costco. Todd and I like watching those kinds of movies.

  4. My favorite Franklin is seen on the $100 Dollar Bill

  5. Very funny, but true Ina!! :))


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