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Transcript of Swim Fins
An Invention of Benjamin Franklin in 1773
By Tommy Ennis
Sandy Creek High School
Franklin was actually a swimmer when he was
young. Even at the the young age of eleven, Franklin was always thinking of ideas. In 1773, Franklin thought of inventing swim fins which were just two oval pallets that were ten inches long and six inches wide. Swim fins now are equipment that go on your feet to help you, but back then when Franklin invented them, he used the fins for his hands. Nowadays, hand fins are called swim paddles.
Misunderstandings and Beliefs.
Some people believe that a Frenchman known as Louis De Corlieu invented the swim fins in 1933. However, all he did was improve Franklin's invention by making them out of rubber and plastic and by changing the shape of the swim fins.
The invention of the swim fins was actually thought of but not carried through in the 1400's by Leonardo Da Vinci and in the 1600's by Giovanni Alfonso Borelli. It was not until 1733
that it actually created and thereafter perfected in 1933. Franklin actually wrote in his journal that he did try
putting the swim fins on his feet; however, he was dissatisfied with them because the stroke was partly driven by the insides and ankles of the feet and not by the soles of the feet.
How it works
The proper way to use swim fins is to use an up and down force from the hips without bending your knees to cause a propulsion to drive you forwards at a faster rate. Fins are designed to give a push mainly on the upstroke motion of the leg and reduce drag on the recovery stroke when the fin moves down. This is the same movement seen in dolphins.
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