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Franklin, Benjamin (1706–1790)

Famous as an author, a humanist, an inventor, a musician, a philosopher, a printer, an internationally known scientist, and a statesman, Benjamin Franklin was one of the most remarkable of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was one of the signers of the Constitution and served as one of the most influential diplomats of the new nation. Although he was often looked on as an amateur in his scientific work, he earned renown in the history of physics for his many discoveries related to electricity and lightning.

A product of the 18th century Age of Enlightenment, a period when reason was advocated as the primary source for authority in cultural life, Franklin invented the lightning rod, bifocal eyeglasses, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, ...

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