Franklin, Benjamin 1706-1790.
American public official, writer, scientist, and printer. After the success of his Poor Richard's Almanac (1732-1757), he entered politics and played a major part in the American Revolution. Franklin negotiated French support for the colonists, signed the Treaty of Paris (1783), and helped draft the Constitution (1787-1789). His numerous scientific and practical innovations include the lightning rod, bifocal spectacles, and a stove.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Frank·lin(frăngk′lĭn), Benjamin 1706-1790.
American public official, scientist, inventor, and writer. He conducted experiments with electricity, established the direction of the prevailing storm track in North America, and determined the existence of the Gulf Stream. Franklin also invented bifocals and a type of stove that was widely used for indoor heating.
Biography Scientist, inventor, statesman, printer, philosopher, musician, and economist: Benjamin Franklin was all of these during his long life, but most of all he was curious. His curiosity about things led him to investigate the way they work, and sometimes to invent ways to make them work better. For example, he had poor vision and needed glasses to read. He got tired of constantly taking them off and putting them back on, so he figured out a way to make his glasses let him see both near and far. He had two pairs of spectacles cut in half and put half of each lens in a single frame. Today, we call glasses like these bifocals. In his role as a statesman, Franklin sailed to Europe many times. These voyages piqued his curiosity about ocean currents, and from the data he collected while onboard ship he created the first map of the Gulf Stream.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.