Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass harmonica. He formed both the first public lending library in America and first fire department in Pennsylvania.
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Lester, C. Edwards Lester’s History of the United States Vol. I (New York, NY: P. F. Collier, 1883)
Courtesy the private collection of Roy Winkelman