Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was an American polymath who was active as a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher and political philosopher. Among the leading intellectuals of his time, Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a drafter and signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the first United States postmaster general. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department, and the University of Pennsylvania. Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity, initially as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies.

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Benjamin Franklin fashioned the first lightning rod in the 18th century. Scientists are now improving on that innovation by employing a high-powered laser. This Laser Lightning Rod could safeguard critical infrastructure including power stations, airports, wind farms and launchpads.

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