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Benjamin Franklin - Inventor

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Angela Garrett

on 25 September 2014

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Transcript of Benjamin Franklin - Inventor

Mr. Benjamin Franklin - Inventor Extraordinaire
The Long Arm
Bifocals
Flexible Urinary Catheter
Swim Fins
And finally...
paying it forward...
The
Streetlamp
Odometer
Lightning Rod
Philad. Feb. 12. 1786

Dear Jonathan,

I wrote to you a few Days since, and sent you 4 philosophical Papers, which I permitted your communicating to Mr. Bowdoin. As they are chiefly speculative and hypothetical, and, (except the Description of the long Arm, a new Instrument for taking down Books from high Shelves) contain little of practical Utility.
"I therefore suggested composing them of four flat panes, with a long funnel above to draw up the smoke, and crevices admitting air below, to facilitate the ascent of the smoke; by this means they were kept clean, and did not grow dark in a few hours, as the London lamps do, but continu'd bright till morning."
Franklin wrote, in March 1773

When a youth, I made two oval pallets, each about ten inches long, and six broad, with a hole for the thumb, in order to retain it fast in the palm of my hand. They much resembled a painter's pallets. In swimming I pushed the edges of these forward, and I struck the water with their flat surfaces as I drew them back. I remember I swam faster by means of these pallets, but they fatigued my wrists. I also fitted to the soles of my feet a kind of sandals, but I was not satisfied with them, because I observed that the stroke is partly given by the inside of the feet and the ankles, and not entirely with the soles of the feet.
Franklin was curious as to how far he was traveling by carriage, in his role as postmaster, for his travels between Philadelphia and Boston.

While the concept of the odometer dates back to ancient times, Franklin did create his own version. The concept was to attach the device near the wheels of a carriage, determine the circumference of the wheel and the number of revolutions required to travel a mile, and have the device register the distance traveled.
It has pleased God in his goodness to mankind, at length to discover to them the means of securing their habitations and other buildings from mischief by thunder and lightning.
“I do not pretend to give such a sum; I only lend it to you...When you meet with another honest man in similar distress, you must pay me by lending this sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go through many hands, before it meets with a knave that will stop its progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with little money.”
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