Benjamin Franklin, American scientist

Benjamin Franklin, American scientist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), American scientist, inventor and statesman. Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was also the first to show that lightning is electricity by flying a kite carrying a metal key during a thunderstorm. 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 also helped shape the revolution and was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. Photographed circa 1763-1785.

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