Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Benjamin Franklin the Inventor for Kids

Benjamin Franklin was one of the founding fathers of America, but we're interested in his life an an inventor. Franklin was a lifelong inventor and is particularly famous for his lightning experiment.

Benjamin Franklin was born on the 17th of January 1706 in Boston, USA.

So what was Franklin's Lightning Experiment?

In 1752 Frankin is said to have flown a kite, with his son William, during a thunderstorm and demonstrated the connection between lightning and electricity. Franklin's experiment led to his invention of the lightning rod.

This video from the History Channel explains the facts that are know about the event and its significance:



Our Benjamin Franklin lightning project celebrates Franklin's discovery using Circuit Scribe electronics components and electronic ink pen:



(This project is one of a series of Circuit Scribe projects that celebrate tech heroes.)

Our project also features a pair of glasses - Franklin also invented bifocal lenses for spectacles.

Franklin and the Battery

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin came up with the term 'battery' for a device that stores electrical current? He used it for the 'batteries' he used in his experiments and the word came to be used for Alessandro Volta's voltaic piles


Franklin on Invention

"... as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously."
Franklin invented many things but he didn't file patents on his inventions. In his autobiography Franklin wrote: "... as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously." source

More Franklinquotes to share with young makers from BrainyQuote:

  • "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
  • "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

More about Benjamin Franklin

The new illustrated edition of Thomas Fleming's biography, Benjamin Franklin Inventing America, for young readers aged around 9-12 is a good place to learn more about Franklin's life and inventions.

The book (and Franklin's actual autobiography) starts off with Benjamin Franklin near the village of Twyford near Southampton, England which happens to be very near to where I'm writing this article! Franklin spent some years living in England. You can still visit the Benjamin Franklin House in London which is said to be the only remaining home of Franklin. (Yes, we're planning a visit!)

Benjamin Franklin also features in the History Heroes: Inventors card game which we have reviewed.





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