Monday, January 17, 2011

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706. He was a man of many talents and over his lifetime, he was a printer, writer, inventor and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

He had poor vision and needed glasses to read. Tired of constantly taking them off and putting them back on, he figured out a way to make his glasses let him see both near and far. He cut two spectacles in half and put half of each lens in a single frame. We call them bifocals.

Some of his other inventions and discoveries include:
  • A flexible urinary catheter that appears to have been the first one produced in America
  • The lightning rod to protect buildings and ships from lightning damage
  • An iron furnace stove that is called a Franklin stove. He also established the first fire company and the first fire insurance company to help people live more safely.
  • The simple odometer to keep track of distance
  • The long arm; a long wooden pole with a grasping claw at the end to help reach books (or other items) on high shelves. 

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