Chapter

Doctor Franklin

Edwin S. Gaustad

in Benjamin Franklin

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780195305357
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850662 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305357.003.0003

Series: Lives and Legacies Series

Doctor Franklin

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In his Proposal for Promoting Useful Knowledge Among the British Plantations in America, Franklin laid out a vision for the society of grandeur and breadth. Knowledge, he thought, should be put to a practical, even pleasurable use. He put forth a new “Franklin stove” in the winter of 1740–41. He continued to give attention to Philadelphia and to ways of making it a more comfortable place in which to live. Together with Peter Collinson, he experimented on the relationship of lightning and electricity. In 1753, both Harvard and Yale awarded the honorary master of arts degree to the scientist who had never even finished high school. In 1761, he invented the glass harmonica, which consists of glass spheres of varying sizes. In 1785, he invented the “double spectacles ”, or what would be later known as bifocals.

Keywords: Franklin stove; Philadelphia; Peter Collinson; lightning rod; electricity; glass harmonica; double spectacles; bifocals

Chapter.  5090 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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