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Benjamin Franklin$
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Edwin S. Gaustad

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305357

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305357.001.0001

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Doctor Franklin

Doctor Franklin

(p.33) Three Doctor Franklin
Benjamin Franklin

Edwin S. Gaustad

Oxford University Press

In his Proposal for Promoting Useful Knowledge Among the British Plantations in America, Franklin laid out a vision for the society of grandeur and breadth. Knowledge, he thought, should be put to a practical, even pleasurable use. He put forth a new “Franklin stove” in the winter of 1740–41. He continued to give attention to Philadelphia and to ways of making it a more comfortable place in which to live. Together with Peter Collinson, he experimented on the relationship of lightning and electricity. In 1753, both Harvard and Yale awarded the honorary master of arts degree to the scientist who had never even finished high school. In 1761, he invented the glass harmonica, which consists of glass spheres of varying sizes. In 1785, he invented the “double spectacles ”, or what would be later known as bifocals.

Keywords:   Franklin stove, Philadelphia, Peter Collinson, lightning rod, electricity, glass harmonica, double spectacles, bifocals

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