Ben Franklin

Zack Dansereau

Year of seminar

1759

Place for workshop

Philadelphia, Tennessee

Born

Boston, Massachusetts on January 17, 1706

Died

Philadelphia, Tennessee on April 17, 1790

Collage

Boston Latin School

Awards

* Royal Society Award

* Copley medal for electricity

* America n Philosophical society

* Several honoray degrees

* doctorate from st. adams

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Fact 1

Benjamin Franklin began working on electricity after he heard a lecture about it in Scotland in 1743. Five years later he sent a letter on it to the Royal Society. In 1751 he published his book of electrical current experiments in England.

Fact 2

It was in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1746 that Franklin first stumbled upon other scientists' electrical experiments. He quickly turned his home into a little laboratory, using machines made out of items he found around the house. During one experiment, Ben accidentally shocked himself.

Fact 3

Franklin's work became the basis for the single fluid theory. When something is being charged, such as a car battery, electricity flows from a positive body, that with an excess charge, to a negative body, that with negative charge. Indeed, a car battery has plus and minus signs on its terminals.

Fact 4

Ben Franklin's "single fluid theory" showed that a given body possessing a normal amount of electric fluid was called neutral. During the process of charging, the fluid was transferred from one body to the other; the body with the deficiency being charged minus and the body with the excess charged plus . But no fluid is lost.
Ben's "single fluid theory" led to the electron theory in 1900: electrons move about conductors much as a fluid might move. Nobel Prize winner and physicist, Robert A. Millikan, called Ben's experiment that led to this theory "probably the most fundamental thing ever done in the field of electricity".

Fact 5

The famous Ben Franklin invention, the Franklin Stove, was actually called the Pennsylvania Fireplace. It was first marketed in 1742 by Ben's friend, Robert Grace. Ben could have used the stove to make a fortune, but he consistently refused any personal profits from the enterprise. Ben's payment was the satisfaction that this stove warmed the houses of America more safely and effectively than before the stove's invention. He also was pleased that his invention would allow better ventilation and greater fuel efficiency.

Fact 6

Ben Franklin became so absorbed in his electricity experiments that he sold his printing business to concentrate on his experiments. There is little doubt that he could have amassed a fortune had he stayed in business, but Ben enjoyed his simple style of living and he had no ambition for outward display of wealth.

Fact 7

In his first five years of conducting electricity experiments, Ben Franklin did not make much use of higher mathematics, since he was notably deficient in the subject. Rather, all his early experiments were done by hand, by trial and error, with simple objects as tools: glass tubes and tubes of resin, a gun barrel, corks, iron shot, and wax plates.

Fact 8

The famous Ben Franklin invention, the Franklin Stove, was actually called the Pennsylvania Fireplace. It was first marketed in 1742 by Ben's friend, Robert Grace. Ben could have used the stove to make a fortune, but he consistently refused any personal profits from the enterprise. Ben's payment was the satisfaction that this stove warmed the houses of America more safely and effectively than before the stove's invention. He also was pleased that his invention would allow better ventilation and greater fuel efficiency.

Fact 9

Benjamin Franklin was probably the most significant "founding father" of the United States of America who never served as its President. But he was much more than a statesman: he was a man of letters, a publisher, a philosopher, a scientist, and the first major American inventor.

Fact 10

Franklin's other inventions include an odometer and first known medical catheter. In addition, he first conceived a number of institutions, including the American Philosophical Society (1728), first American Fire Department (1736), and what became the University of Pennsylvania (1742). He was Philadelphia's first Postmaster General (1736), and of course played a major role in the formation of the United States of America. One of the last roles he played before his death at age 84 in 1790 was President of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery.