For the purpose of this paper we will Just discuss the inventions he produced which had a world Impact. (Fish 2). Ben Franklin was born 17 January 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts Toshiba and Bah Franklin. (Caisson 26). His father was a candle and soap maker. Tried as he might, this career did not interest him. Neither did the business of printing as he discovered while working as an apprentice for his older brother. Though Ben Franklin possessed at an early age the talent of persuasive writing via “anonymous letters” to the editor, young Ben Franklin was destined for much more.
At the age of 7 years old, he decided he did not want to work in his brother’s printing shop. He caught a sailing vessel to Pennsylvania. (Brands 54). During the colonial era, gold and silver coins were the only sources of currency. Furthermore, they were minted in Britain. The colonies were chronically short of coins and they wished to mint their own currency (Eleven’s 26). There were attempts at printing paper currency by the different colonies, but these attempts were short-lived and unpopular. The biggest reason for this was the ease at which they could be counterfeited.
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While In Pennsylvania in 1739, Ben Franklin began ringing fine currency. The problem with printed money was the ease of counterfeiting. To remedy this, Mr.. Franklin enlisted the help of botanist and artist Jacob Brilliant. Mr.. Brilliant had in the g’s created fine images of leaves using an old print maker’s technique of rolling ink onto a leave then pressing that inked surface onto a sheet of paper (Eleven’s 26). Mr. Franklin used this technique to create hard-to-copy paper currency. In 1736 Ben Franklin printed the first nature print of a rattlesnake leaf.
The special nature print made counterfeiting extremely difficult leading too new found confidence in paper currency. In 1775, the Continental Congress authorized creation of a national currency using the same methods discovered by Ben Franklin centuries earlier (Eleven’s 26). Eventually there were problems with the paper currency that the Continental Congress caused due to overprinting. However it does not take away from the contributions that Benjamin ‘OFF Then there is the famous invention that so many children know about Benjamin Franklin which is his work with lightening.
Mr. Franklin had experimented with and worked with various forms of static electricity (Caisson 138). In 1751 he flew a kite in a thunderstorm. The kite had a metal point to which a long silk thread was attached. At the bottom of the thread was a metal key. As the thunderclouds showed signs of electrical charge, Franklin put his knuckle near the key and it sparked and crackled just like his prior Leaden Jar experiment (Asimov 202). Finally in June of 1752 in Philadelphia, Mr.. Franklin thought that the many traits of static electricity were similar with that of lightning (Morgan 12).
He then devised a plan to place an iron rod from top of a tall building or steeple and ending it down at the base of the building near a charged glass tube. He did this so that any charge that gathered might leak away rapidly and silently and no charge would accumulate to the point where a disastrous discharge would be forced (Asimov 202). Theoretically if a spark went over the rod during a storm then it would prove lightening was electric. His experiment made him suddenly famous (Morgan 12). This ingenious invention helped avert a natural disaster from occurring.
Many people’s lives changed once lightening rods appeared on church steeples and tall buildings. It gave them a large sense of security. Prior to the installation of these lightening rods the homes, towns ND cities were at high risk for burning due to lighting strikes. It was unfortunately a common event. One fire could bring down half a town and cost many lives. Thanks to Mr.. Franklin, fires caused by lightning strikes were averted. The lightening rod was placed on buildings, homes and even boats (Morgan 13).
His invention actually saved lives of people and saved an measurable amount of money. Franklins design of the lightening rod remains the basis of modern lightening codes up to today. Sometime in 1784 Benjamin Franklin was traveling from one location to another. He loved to read while he was traveling. One day he noticed that he was quite inconvenienced every time he had to switch from his reading glasses to his other glasses and every time he wanted looked up at the scenery outside the window (Caisson 426). He then decided to see his optician.
He told his optician to cut out a half section of glass from his eyeglasses he used to see in the distance and then to cut a half section from his eyeglasses to see close up. He then combined the two half lenses together in one eyeglass. He wanted the farsighted section to be on top and the near-sighted piece of glass to be at the bottom of the eyeglasses (Brands 626). In his spare time he would work on his bifocals to make them more useful. Mr. Franklin used the name “double spectacles” for bifocals (Caisson 426).
His invention of bifocals have allowed many people to do every day activities so much easier. Such as being able to drive and look out the window and see clearly in the distance as well as glancing down to look at the odometer without having to switch to your other pair of glasses. Now people can sit in the restaurant and read the menu and look around the room while using the same pair of eyeglasses. As you can see many daily tasks re easier due to this invention. Furthermore, people only need to purchase one pair of eyeglasses versus two pairs. These days people are prone to have more like systems.
A person who does not need bifocal glasses cannot appreciate the value of this invention in every day use. For Mr.. Franklin, he found another benefit to his bifocals. He once said, “This I find more particularly convenient since my being in France, the glasses that serve me best at table to see what I eat, not being the best to see the faces of those on the other side of the table who speak to me; and when one’s ears are not well accustomed to the sounds of a language, a sight of the movement in the features of him that speaks helps to explain; so that I understand French better by the help of my spectacles. (Brands 622). This paper contains only a very small portion of Benjamin Franklins creative, intelligent and inventive mind. There were many inventions he either initiated or developed from other theories and experiments (Caisson 2). His creative design of the bifocal eyeglasses has benefited so many people throughout the generations and is currently in use today. Furthermore, Mr.. Franklins ingenious invention and design of the lightning rod saved many people’s lives, their homes, businesses and perhaps even whole towns.
The use of a the lightning rod is currently the standard building code for all buildings and boats to have. Furthermore his idea of making paper money difficult to be counterfeited through a unique design is still being practiced and perfected today. Many attempts have been made to replicate and produce money falsely. If enough counterfeit money were in circulation then it would cause an imbalance. That is why his idea of finding a method to deter or make it difficult or people to replicate was so ingenious. His inventions that were imagined and developed were over two hundred years ago.