American Contributions: Lightning rod, Bifocals, Franklin stove Benjamin was the first American physicist to characterized two kinds of electric charge which he named “positive” and “negative. ” He earned the title of “The First American” for his early and untiring campaigning for colonial unity He signed the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War and the Constitution of the United States.
In 1 750 he published a proposal for an experiment to prove that lightning is electricity by flying a kite in a storm that appeared capable of becoming a lightning storm and electrical experiments led to his invention of the lightning rod. Franklin, always proud of his working class roots, became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies.  With two partners he published the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper that was known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of the British policies. He became wealthy publishing Poor Richards Almanac and The Pennsylvania Gazette.
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Franklin was also the printer of books for the Moravian of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (1742 on). Franklins printed Moravian books (printed in German) are preserved, and can be viewed, at the Moravian Archives located in Bethlehem. Franklin visited Bethlehem many times and stayed at the Moravian Sun Inn. He played a major role in establishing the University of Pennsylvania and was elected the first president of the American Philosophical Society. Franklin became a national hero in America when as agent for several colonies he spearheaded he effort to have Parliament in London repeal the unpopular Stamp Act.
An accomplished diplomat, he was widely admired among the French as American minister to Paris and was a major figure in the development of positive Franco-American relations. His efforts to secure support for the American Revolution by shipments of crucial munitions proved vital for the American war effort. For many years he was the British postmaster for the colonies, which enabled him to set up the first national communications network. He was active in community affairs, colonial and state politics, as ell as national and international affairs.
From 1 785 to 1 788, he served as governor of Pennsylvania. Toward the end of his life, he freed his own slaves and became one of the most prominent abolitionists. His colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, and status as one of America’s most influential Founding Fathers, have seen Franklin honored on coinage and the $100 bill; warships, the names of many towns, counties, educational institutions, namesakes, and companies, and, more than two centuries after his death.