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Benjamin Franklin: Electric Ambassador |
SCI110: Professor Walter DeMeis |
Tricia Craig |
“He snatched lightning from the sky and the scepter from tyrants,” was the observation of France’s Economist Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot to the court of King Louis XV. Ben started his life the 15th of 17 children. From this modest upbringing, a printer, scientist, and diplomat was born. In an expression of benevolence, Ben never patented any of his inventions, saying, “I never made, nor proposed to make, the least profit by any of them.” It was a matter of fortitude for him that, as he had profited from other’s past inventions and discoveries, present and future generations should be able to profit freely from his own. He had tremendous influence in his time on scientists throughout the world. Ben Franklin was a great inventor and scientist, using scientific theory in everything he accomplished; his greatest accomplishments include the Franklin Stove, spectacles, the theories of electricity, and the Lightning Rod.
One of Ben’s aptitudes was to see the larger questions in the details of his everyday life. He frequently would see an object, find its flaws, and then change the design (Krensky p.51). One of his most important observations to the daily lives of colonists was the Pennsylvania Fireplace, or otherwise known as the Franklin Stove. Ben noticed a few things about existing stoves, first they were smoky, and second they were not effective in warming the room in which they were in. He believed that heat could be directly distributed and conserved if the smoke could first descend before it ascended upward through the chimney. Not only did he change the design of the flue, but he brought the stove away from the wall of the house, placing it toward the center of the room. This advantage made the stove’s heat accessible from all surfaces. “Using his knowledge of convection and heat transfer, he heated an inner metal...
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