A Comparison Of Lives Between Martha Ballard And Benjamin Franklin

1404 words - 6 pages

Benjamin Franklin and Martha Ballard were two very different figures in American history. During the time of the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin was known for his important contribution to the creation of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin's significance to the formation of the United States is a story that is told in countless sources of literature, including his own autobiography, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. However, many people are unaware of his numerous other achievements. Martha Ballard was not the famous historical figure that Franklin was. She has become well-known through her diary, which was published into a novel entitled A Midwife's Tale. Ballard's life was much more "real" and ordinary than the life of Benjamin Franklin. While they both lived very separate lifestyles, their actions during their lifetime had huge impacts on the lives of others around them, and the lives of future generations. Benjamin Franklin is most well-known today as the man who signed the Declaration of Independence. However, he was more than simply a political figure. Another important contribution was his view of science. An avid observer of the world around him, Franklin had many profound thoughts about things that most people could not answer. He seemed to be able to grasp concepts that many people hadn't even acknowledged. His love of science stemmed from his tendency to always question things, always make realizations, and always try to improve what was already in front of him. For example, the time that it took to sail from Great Britain to America was generally two weeks shorter than sailing from America back to Great Britain. Franklin hypothesized that the wind was slowing down the ships heading towards the East. He then made the discovery that the ocean air was weaker near the Gulf Stream. His discovery allowed ships to sail back and forth using the most time-efficient route. Benjamin Franklin made other important scientific discoveries. Possibly the most significant was his discovery of electricity. Franklin realized that a pointed metal object could draw an electric spark farther away than a piece of metal with a dull end. Franklin also came up with the terms 'conductor' and 'non-conductor,' both of which are still used today. Franklin's discoveries helped the colonists in creating lightening rods, which were used on ships and taller buildings to prevent them from being struck with lightening. Franklin was also an avid inventor. He created the Franklin stove, in order to help the colonists preserve wood and their safety. His stove was made of iron, and it was less dangerous and burned less wood than the typical fireplace of the eighteenth century. Benjamin Franklin's contributions to science were very significant in the establishment of the New World. He also contributed to his home state of Pennsylvania. His contributions helped to improve the life for himself and his country. In 1727, Franklin created...

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