Benjamin Franklin's Inventions Impact Society Essay

Pages: 3 (1043 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History

S. History, 2011). Franklin was offered the opportunity to patent his stove, which he declined, because he considered it so useful and necessary he wanted as many people to have access to it as possible, although he said he later heard that an ironmonger obtained a patent on a 'copycat' stove. In fact, "Of the numerous inventions Franklin created, he did not patent a single one" ("Benjamin Franklin: Inquiring mind," PBS, 2011). This spirit of 'sharing' rather than hording information is still seen at many companies today, such as the information search engine company Google, whose first principle is to do no evil.

Of course, the most famous image of Franklin the inventor does not pertain to something he 'invented,' but one of his most famous experiments: flying a kite during a lightening storm. Franklin challenged the commonly-held conception of electricity of his day, which was that the force "consisted of two opposing forces" ("The Electric Ben Franklin," U.S. History, 2011). Franklin showed "that electricity consisted of a 'common element' which...passed from one body to another "like a fluid and could not be destroyed ("The Electric Ben Franklin," U.S. History, 2011).

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Franklin's experiments with electricity led him to create what he considered his most important invention -- the lightening rod, which prevented damage to life and property. The rod was a "metal rod attached to the high point of a building. A metal wire or cable ran from the rod, down the side of the building, and into the ground. When lighting struck, the electricity ran down the rod and cable and into the ground, preventing damage to the building" ("Benjamin Franklin: Inquiring mind," PBS, 2011).

Essay on Benjamin Franklin's Inventions Impact Society. Assignment

Franklin had wide-reaching interests. He created the first odometer to measure distances by carriage, when he was postmaster, and used the information to maximize effective transportation on routes. An avid swimmer, he invented the first swim fins ("The Electric Ben Franklin," U.S. History, 2011). He created a 'grasping' claw to lift high books off of his many library shelves ("The Electric Ben Franklin," U.S. History, 2011). Franklin also generated many ideas involving intellectual property, including the first fire company and the first fire insurance company to protect the safety of the public ("Benjamin Franklin's inventions," The Franklin Institute, 2011).

Many of Franklin's inventions were improved upon by others, such as his Franklin stove and three-wheeled clock. But the breadth of his interests and abilities is astonishing, particularly when one considers that inventing was not Franklin's main preoccupation, but merely something he did as well as engage in political affairs and journalism. Few human beings have ever succeeded at such a multiplicity of careers over the course of their lives.

Works Cited

"Benjamin Franklin: Inquiring mind." PBS [6 Dec 2011]

"Benjamin Franklin's inventions." The Franklin Institute.

[6 Dec 2011]

"The Electric Ben Franklin." U.S. History. [6 Dec 2011] [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Benjamin Franklin's Inventions Impact Society" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Benjamin Franklin's Inventions Impact Society.  (2011, December 7).  Retrieved September 24, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Benjamin Franklin's Inventions Impact Society."  7 December 2011.  Web.  24 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Benjamin Franklin's Inventions Impact Society."  December 7, 2011.  Accessed September 24, 2020.