Benjamin Franklin
Image courtesy The Franklin Institute Science Museum
Benjamin Franklin
(1706-1790)

Benjamin Franklin was an American statesman who helped to write the Declaration of Independence. But he was also a writer, publisher, printer and inventor.

Franklin proved that lightning is a form of electricity with the famous, and very dangerous, kite experiment. That experiment led to his discovery of positive and negative electricity and to his development of terms we still use today: battery, conductor, condenser, charge, discharge, electric shock, and electrician.

The lightning rod was among his inventions, along with the Franklin stove and bifocal glasses. Franklin also organized an effective postal system, mapped the Gulf Stream and recognized the aurora borealis as an electrical phenomenon.

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