Benjamin Franklin (1706 − 1790), "
The First American,"
was an American statesman, writer, scientist, and inventor. He was the first to describe electricity as one thing, a
fluid, under different pressures, not as separate things. He was the first to label them as positive &
negative and the first to discover the principle of
of charge. He was the first to propose experiments to determine if lightening was electricity. He
invented the lightening rod, battery, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and glass armonica. He
noticed storms do not always move in the direction of prevailing wind. He noted a principle of refrigeration and
conducted experiments on the concept, described in his letter, "Cooling by Evaporation." He experimented
on the non-conduction of ice and heat's effects on conduction. He made findings in Oceanography and Meteorology. He
is the first to describe the use of a "pro & con list," with cancellation methods to make a decision.
His study of U.S. population growth, "Observations concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries,
&c." influenced economists Adam Smith & Thomas Malthus.
See Benjamin Franklin's Virtues below.