Benjamin Franklin, US scientist

Benjamin Franklin, US scientist

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Credit: AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), US scientist, inventor and statesman. Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He proposed and may have conducted experiments with a kite in a thunderstorm to show that lightning is electricity. This led to his invention of the lightning rod to protect buildings from lightning strikes. He also invented fins for swimming, bifocal glasses, a urinary catheter and showed that evaporation cooled objects. He helped shape the American Revolution and was a signatory of the US Declaration of Independence. This portrait by Carle van Loo, engraved by Pierre-Michel Alix, was exhibited in Paris, France, in 1795.

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