Inventions Become So Commonplace That Term Paper

Total Length: 1082 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 5

Page 1 of 4

With his understanding of electricity he designed a metal rod that was attached to the high point of a building. A metal wire or cable ran from the rod, down the side of a building and into the ground. When lighting struck, the electricity followed the cable down into the ground and prevented damage to the building. Franklin thought of the lightening rod in 1750, but it was three more years before he perfected it. (Bell 10). Franklin believed that the lightning rod was his most important invention, and it surely saved many buildings and lives since then.

In Franklin's time, the street lamps were very inefficient and the glass globes became dark with soot from oil burned inside. They needed to be cleaned daily. Franklin recognized that the problem had to do with lack of airflow inside the globe. In his Autobiography (126-127), he describes the improvement he made to street lights: "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."

Another Franklin invention used today is the extension arm, which is still advertised on TV commercials today. After founding a library in Philadelphia, Franklin spent a great deal of time in the stacks. In order to reach the books on the upper shelves, he created a device had two "fingers" that were attached to the end of a long piece of wood or pipe. The fingers could be opened or closed by pulling on a cord that manipulated them (PBS).
Other inventions used today include the odometer that he attached to his carriage and counted the rotations of the wheels and calculated the distance traveled; the well-known and often used bi-focal glasses; and daylight savings time that he wrote about in a tongue-in-cheek letter to the Journal of Paris, where he recommended that the city of Paris enact a number of laws which would force Parisians to get up with the sun and retire early in the evening for oil light saving. No one knows if he was joking or really believed in what he told the Parisians.

In Italy, a letter about America written in the 1700s praised the "genius" of Franklin "due the invention of the Pennsylvania stove, an invention worthy of the conquerer of lightning, namely, of the celebrated Mr. Benjamin Franklin"(Pace 78). Genius was the correct word for Franklin. Throughout his life he continually thought of new ways to help others through his inventions, which are still as advantageous today.

Resources Cited:

Bell, Carrie L. Draw the Lightning Down: Benjamin Franklin and Electrical Technology in the Age of Enlightenment. Berkeley, CA.. University of California Press, 2003.

Goodman, Nathan G. The Ingenious Dr. Franklin: Selected Scientific Letters of Benjamin Franklin Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press

Pace, Antonio. Benjamin and Italy. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1958.

PBS. The Little Things. Retrieved April 18. 2008.

Franklin, Benjamin. Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. New York Macmillan, 1914.

A van Doren, Carl. Benjamin Franklin and Jonathan Edwards: Selections….....

Have Any Questions? Our Expert Writers Can Answer!

Need Help Writing Your Essay?