“Teach me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.” – Benjamin
Franklin. Benjamin Franklin was raised in a poverty. He nourished himself with literature when he
was just a kid, and worked for his brother as a printer at the age of 17. When he left his brother to
open his own printing press, he became so successful that he retired at the age of 42! This allowed
him to focus on his love for science. Franklin was a polymath (in other words, he was many things)—
an author, printer, politician, scientist, musician, inventor, and much, much more. He made significant
contributions to many fields. However, he is probably best known for his work in science, especially in
electricity and the physics of electricity. For the areas of science in which he worked, he is known for
his studies in the theory of electricity and his useful inventions. These include the Franklin stove, bifocal
eyeglasses, the lightning rod, and daylight savings time.
One of Franklin's greatest claims to fame was his work in electricity. He carried out experiments
with the Leyden jar, sent a current through water to ignite alcohol, made the first battery, ignited
gunpowder, and much, much more (Bellis). He even charged wine glasses so the drinkers would receive
shocks! More importantly though, he began to develop the theory of the relationship between lightning
and electricity; he brought up the idea of protecting buildings by using iron rods. In the summer of
1752, he performed the famous kite experiment, where he drew down electricity from the sky by
charging a Leyden jar from the key at the end of the string. Franklin stated that "electricity is a single
electrical 'fluid'" (electrons) "that may be transferred between bodies". He said the total quantity of
the "fluid" is always conserved. This is a concept known today as one of the fundamental natural law—
the conservation of electrical charge (Timeline 1750-1774).
Inspired by Du Fay (Charles-Francois de Cisternay Du Fay), best known for the discovery
of positive and negative electricity, Franklin found out the amount of “fluid” (today known as
electrons), was responsible for the repelling and attracting of different objects in different situations
(Karam 340). Benjamin Franklin used terminology still used today. An excess of electrical fluid was
considered "positive" while a deficiency of fluid was considered "negative". Benjamin Franklin studied
the relationship between magnetism and electricity and tried to magnetize an object by using electricity.
Today, we know that electricity is generated by either moving a wire in a magnetic field or moving a
magnet in a coil of wire (“Generating Electricity”).
Benjamin Franklin was also known for his many inventions and creations, which were involved
in his experiments with electricity and magnetism (“Inventions”). What fascinated me about Ben’s inventions was that most of them were created because he had a...