Benjamin Franklin

220px-BenFranklinDuplessisBenjamin Franklin (American; January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) Franklin’s most famous electric experiment was his kite experiment in which he discovered that lightning was a form of electricity. Whether through knowledge or luck, evidence shows that Franklin was insulated during this experiment. Several others who attempted to repeat this experiment were horribly electrocuted. He followed up on this discovery with the invention of the lightning rod which safely diverted lightning strikes on a building to an earth grounding electrode. These strikes were a common cause of fire for large buildings, and his invention was so effective and appreciated that Franklin received the Royal Society’s Copley Medal in 1753. He also experimented with the collection of electrical charges using various devices, and coined the labels for these charges “negative” and “positive” to describe them. Read more…

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