ican of histime. He was a pioneer in the study of electricity and is world-renowned for his ideas andinventions. Today, after two hundred years, his name is still remembered by millions, andhis influence is still felt world-wide. A man as great as this deserves some sort ofremembrance for all that he accomplished. Recently there has been talk of adding a fifthvisage to Mount Rushmore, someone who is in keeping with the four great men currentlydisplayed.
Benjamin Franklin’s achievements as an inventor, discoverer, and statesmanwell deserve him a place on this great monument. During his lifetime, Benjamin Franklin gave us a multitude of inventions, many ofwhich are still used in some form today. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” saidFranklin. In fact, it was necessity which prompted a very well known invention.
Franklinwas unfortunate enough to be both near- and far-sighted. Frustrated by having toconstantly change between two pairs of glasses, he created bifocals where he cut the lensesfrom both spectacles in half and put them together in one frame. Another invention of hisstill in use today is the odometer. Although modified somewhat for use today, Franklinused the device on his carriage to map out routes in the town. Basically, his odometermeasured how many times the wheel of his carriage made a full circle. Franklin’s otherinventions were many and far ranging including such devices as the catheter to the Franklinstove to the lightening rod.
Along with his may inventions, Benjamin Franklin is well remembered for many ofhis ideas and discoveries. Foremost on this list is probably electricity. Before his lifetime,scientists in Europe dabbled with various tests and assessments of such things as friction,attraction, and repulsion, but it was only mere dabbling until Benjamin Franklin. Franklinsaw that lightening and electricity are essentially the same force, and he realized theawesome power both contained. Most have heard about Franklin’s experiments with DeckerPage 2lightening through the story of the kite and the key in the lightening storm, but few peoplerealized that he had many other great ideas still in used today. Franklin came up withdaylight savings time so there would be more hours of light during the summer so moreproductive work could be done.
He started the first fire department and sixteen years laterbegan the first fire insurance company. He was the first to chart the Gulf Stream, he iscredited with the first political cartoon called “Join or Die,” he was the first to advocateVitamin C, and much more!Franklin was also a well-known statesman. He proposed a truly visionary plan at ameeting of representatives in Albany, NY called the Albany Plan of Union. This planproposed to unify the colonial governments and form an alliance with the Iroquois Indians,one of the few tribes not allied with the ever-attacking French. The plan also gave thegovernment authority over defense, westward expansion, and Indian relations.
The planwent unheeded, but became a reminder of the enormous potential of a unified government. Franklin sought a resolution to the Native American problem peacefully but to no avail. He later advised the British military commanded by General Braddock in their attempts tocease Native American attacks in the colonies. When the military regiments failed becauseGeneral Braddock didn’t head Franklin’s warnings that the Indians would resort to guerrillawarfare, Franklin, with the help of his son William, was put in command of the defense ofthe north western frontier. His command, however, would be short-lived.
He would soonbe called away to London as a representative of Pennsylvania. Whether he was being an inventor, a thinker, or a statesman, Benjamin Franklinwas a leader among men. “There never was a good war nor a bad peace,” he once said. Franklin was a visionary, and he deserves to be honored with his face carved into the stoneof the legendary Mount Rushmore.