Innovation and Benjamin
Franklin are virtually synonymous. Throughout life,
Franklin used his keen, perspicacious mind in the
development of creative and at the same time practical
inventions and in the pursuit of scientific knowledge.
However, Benjamin was not merely a dilettante. On the
contrary, he was a pioneer in the study of electricity
and world-renowned for his contributions.
Daylight Savings Time: While in Paris,
Franklin was the first to propose the idea of
Daylight Savings Time. By increasing the
available amount of daylight during the summer
and decreasing it during the winter season,
Franklin hoped to provide the world with a
greater opportunity of doing productive work
during the summer months, as opposed to the cold
and dreary days of winter.
Fire Department: In 1736, Benjamin
Franklin started the first fire department ever.
Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it was
called the Union Fire Company
Company: In 1752, Franklin was
responsible for setting up America's first fire insurance company.
Gulf Stream: Franklin was one
of the first people to chart the Gulf Stream.
Since he spent so much time sailing back and
forth from America to Europe as a diplomat, he
was able to measure different temperatures in the
Atlantic Ocean and chart the Stream in detail.
Political Cartoon: Benjamin Franklin
is credited with creating the first political
cartoon. By combining both his wit and political
convictions, he portrayed his own reflections on
issues affecting society. Since then, the
political cartoon has become a staple of modern
culture and thought. The following picture,
titled "Join or Die", is the first
political cartoon ever. Appearing in Franklin's
Pennsylvania Gazette, it concerns the Albany Plan
of Union and the author's stance on the matter.
Vitamin C: Before this
nutrient had even been discovered, Franklin
encouraged the eating of citrus fruits, including
oranges, limes, and grapefruits. Recognizing the
healthy advantages of fruit, wise Benjamin coined
the phrase "An apple a day keeps the doctor
away." He touted the advantages of fruit in
helping to maintain the gums and skin. Only in
1795, years after Franklin's recommendations, did
the British navy mandate a lime in the daily diet
of British seamen. Interestingly, at that point,
"limey" became a popular term for an
Englishman. The decision to use the lime was
instrumental in reducing instances of scurvy among naval crews
and illustrates Franklin's foresight.
Home | Biography | Inventions | References | Quotations
Interesting Facts | Wit & Humor | About