Benjamin Franklin role in U.S history
Benjamin Franklin was one of the greatest founding fathers of United States. He had different attributes ranging from author, printer, political theorist, diplomat, scientist, and inventor. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson referred to him as a great philosopher and the greatest man of his age. As a scientist, he played a significant role in the invention of physics and educated Americans on electricity from his theories. In addition, many of his inventions including lightning rod, bifocal glasses, Franklin stove and clock helped in transforming Americans life.
Before Franklin lightning rod invention most grown up men would hide under beds for fear of being struck by lightning during storms (Fleming, 2003). People believed that lightning was God's sign of punishing people for their sins. With Franklin's invention of the lightning rod, the world started to look upon natural phenomena in a different perspective. Most people changed their view on these natural catastrophes' and recognized their ability to understand and control them through science and inventions. Despite the advances in the technology of this era, the lightning rod that is in use today is essentially similar to that invented by Franklin. Today's Engineers still use the principle of lightning rod to protect tall buildings from lightning strikes.
Another transformative invention by Franklin is the bifocal eyeglasses. He wanted to solve the problem of having to change glasses when he wants to read and take a view of the countryside. He therefore invented an eyeglass that had the capabilities of achieving both tasks without the need of changing the glasses. These glasses design involved cutting the two glass lens horizontally in equal sizes then mounting them on the spectacle frame with the lens for close work at the bottom and that for a distant object at the top. Bifocal eye glasses used today to treat patients with presbyopia uses Franklin's theory in the design of such lens.
Franklin work in preparing the declaration of independence was important in the formation of United States nation. His committee with Thomas Jefferson and John Adam had a responsibility of developing the declaration of independence. This document became the country's symbol of liberty. The declaration of independence stated that the thirteen American states who were at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states and free from Britain rule. These thirteen states as a result of this declaration formed the United States of America. Furthermore, Franklin's articles of confederation plan were rewritten by John Dickson and became the official constitution which governs the continental congress.
When the thirteen states were in a dispute concerning population of members in the various houses, he proposed a system that pleased both the small and large states. The number of members in the representative house will be based on population while those in the Senate will be equal. Through this move, Benjamin united both states, and this unity helped in cementing the United States of America bond. Until today, all the thirteen states are united as one forming the sovereign United States.
The daylight saving invention proved useful in reducing the number of candle wax used every year. Franklin encouraged people to work during the day and sleep at night to save candles cost due to the troubling economy of the time. This move reduces the rise in energy cost and hence helped in stabilizing the economy. Franklin also promoted art through the invention of glass armonica. Armonica was a musical instrument that was used to produce various tones that made a musical rhythm. The armonica invention promoted public performance and is one of the major inventions in music.
Benjamin Franklin never patented any of his inventions as he wanted the future generation to benefit freely from these inventions. Among other inventions that shaped American's life are the three-wheel clock that recorded seconds, hours and minutes, flippers that aid in swimming and the famous Franklin stove. Most of the sophisticated equipment developed today largely depends on the information presented by Franklin in his inventions.
Fleming, C. (2003). Ben Franklin's Almanac: Being a True Account on the Good Gentleman's Life. Simon and Schuster.