Did Ben Franklin Invent Electricity


Benjamin Franklin was an American philosopher, inventor, and politician. However, it is commonly confused that Franklin was an inventor of electricity as well. This is neither factual nor substantiated by any form of evidence. The real story of Franklin can be found below that has spurred on this popular belief.

The Real Facts

Mr. Franklin did in fact tie a metal key to the end of a kite but luckily enough he did not hang on to the kite and get shocked, if he had history would have missed out on quite a few inventions that he did create.

Mr. Franklin’s goal was not to invent electricity with his kite experiment but instead to show that lighting was in fact electrical and it did result in his inventing the lighting rod that has likely saved millions of homes around the world.

His Theory

His theories about electricity did help to change the way people viewed electricity. His theories became the basis for the Single Fluid Theory of electricity. He also coined the new words that were to be used to describe electrical happenings.

Battery, conductor, charge, positively, negatively, plus, minus, armature, condenser all were new words to the vernacular of the times and all were words that were coined by Mr. Franklin.

The Lighting Rod and Other Inventions

The lighting rod is a very simple but effective invention. It is a rod that sits on a roof with a wire or cable that hangs from it. The wire is buried in the ground. When lighting hits the rod the electrical current runs through the rod into the wire/cable and it is harmlessly discharged into the ground. This single invention very likely has saved countless homes and lives from destruction. It is still in use today.

He mapped the gulf stream after 8 voyages to the area. He invented the odometer because he wanted to track his miles during his days delivering mail. He invented the Franklin stove which replaced fire places in many colonial homes as the main source of heat.

He was a huge swimming fan and invented the Swim Fins when he was 11. He did also invent bi-focal glasses.

What He Did Not Invent

Mr. Franklin was larger than life and sometimes gets credit for things he did not invent like electricity. He also did not invent Daylight Savings Time. He did not invent the bulkhead that is used in ships. He is easily one of the most misquoted and miscredited historical figures.

The Ben Franklin Effect is not something he invented but it is a very real sociological theory that is very likely the reason the Mr. Franklin is credited with inventing electricity.