Although more famously known for his kite flying story under the rough weather which eventually led to the discovery of electricity; Benjamin Franklin invented many other things that were nothing short than being tagged electrifying. Born on 17th January, 1706, to father Josiah Franklin, a soap and candle maker by profession; Benjamin was among the thirteen other children in the household and only had less than two years of formal schooling. At the age of ten he was made to work in his father’s shop but was never content and happy with it. Over the years, Franklin worked in many different professions such as — an apprentice to his brother James (a printer), a scientist, and a statesman. Though linked to the kite flying incident and the eventual discovery of electricity; this wasn’t all he did. He dedicated all his time and life to the betterment of everyday living and left an indelible mark on the society. Continue reading to know about his contribution to the society and nation.
List Of Benjamin Franklin’s Inventions
Old age had claimed one more victim - this time Benjamin Franklin, who was unfortunate to be both myopic and hyperopic. Tired of constantly having to switch between two different glasses; he came up with the idea of merging the two into one. He had lenses of two different pairs of spectacles cut in half and put half of each lens in a single frame and voila, bifocals came into existence (in 1784) that are used by many across the globe till date.
Created in 1761, glass armonica was one of the most loved instruments during the 18th century; its pearl-like sound being adored till date. Even the inventor admitted that out of all his inventions, the glass armonica gave him the greatest personal satisfaction. The idea came to Franklin during the time when he served as a delegate for colonial America and was on frequent visits to London and Paris. It was during one of his visits that he attended a concert of Handel’s Water Music, wherein music was played on tuned wine glasses. Inspired by the beauty of its sound, he began working on it soon after. The armonica he created was smaller in size, and yet made a perfect pitch without the glasses being filled with water. Even the glasses were kept at a snuggling distance to each other and the sound produced came out from within the air columns of the glasses.
During the winter season in colonial America during the 18th century, it would get extremely cold and a fireplace was the only source of keeping warm. However, this too were not extremely effective in maintaining consistent heat throughout, as most of the heat would go straight out of the chimney. Also, they produced a lot of smoke and were a constant threat to the households as well. This led Benjamin to the creation of Franklin Stove, which had a hood like enclosure in the front and an airbox in the back. Comparatively, it used lesser wood and generated twice the amount of heat. Benjamin even refused to get it patented as he didn’t intend to make any profits from it and wanted all people to benefit from his invention.
During the start of 18th century, lightning was a major cause of fire and destroyed many buildings as they were made of wood. The famous kite flying incident, about which we all have heard and read, led to the invention of a lightning rod (made of iron), and not to the discovery of electricity (as is perceived by many). This lightning rod is attached to the wall of the house, with one end of the rod high up in the sky, and the other end down in the ground. The top end of the rod attracts the lightning away from falling on the house and channels the current to the earth.
Odometer came into existence during his post mastering days when Benjamin Franklin was assigned the task of mapping mail routes for the local towns. It was then, when he went out on his carriage to measure the routes and soon realized the importance of keeping track of the distances; invented a simple odometer that helped measure the mileage of the routes that he attached to his carriage. The odometer was calibrated to to trigger a bell after every 25.5 yards.
Many other firsts can be credited to Benjamin Franklin. Few of them being:-
He was the first to propose the idea of Daylight Savings Time. Franklin hoped of providing the world with a better opportunity of doing work in the summers, as opposed to winters by increasing the amount of daylight during the summers and decreasing it during the winters.
The first Fire Department ever, was started by Benjamin Franklin in the year 1736, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was called Union Fire Company.
America’s first fire insurance company was set by Ben Franklin in the year 1752.
He was also the first to study the Gulf Stream and put it on a map.
He is also credited with creating the first political cartoon; the art that is indispensable now and is used in many nations as social commentary.
Share this list of Benjamin Franklin’s inventions with others and give this great man his rightful credit!