Franklin, Benjamin

Franklin, Benjamin
b. 17 January 1706 Boston, Massachusetts, USA
d. 17 April 1790 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
American diplomat, statesman, scientist and inventor of bifocal spectacle lenses.
Described as a versatile genius, although less fairly also as an amateur dabbler, Franklin was of immediate English ancestry from Northamptonshire. During a long and prolific life, his innovations included the Franklin stove, arrangements for house ventilation and aeronautical and electrical experimentation. He was awarded the Copley Medal of the Royal Society in 1753 for his discoveries in relation to lighting conductors.
His principal contribution to medicine was the invention of bifocal lenses constructed by the cementing of glass wafers to existing spectacle lenses. The date of this invention is uncertain, but was probably c.1774. A letter he wrote to a friend in 1775 refers to Peter Dollond, of the London optical firm, who has sometimes been thought to have contemporaneously developed some form of bifocal lens. Franklin's invention of the lens was prompted by his own visual difficulties.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
Royal Medical Society of Paris 1777. Medical Society of London 1787. Royal Society Copley Medal 1753.
1888, The Life of Benjamin Franklin, Written by Himself, Philadelphia.
Further Reading
C.van Dorek, 1938, Benjamin Franklin.
H.Barty-King, 1986, Eyes Right, London.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Franklin, Benjamin — (1706 1790)    American statesman, philosopher, and writer, was one of a numerous family. His f. was a soap boiler at Boston, where F. was b. He was apprenticed at the age of 13 to his brother, a printer, who treated him harshly. After various… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

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  • Franklin Benjamin Sanborn — Sanborn was born at Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, the son of Aaron and Lydia (Leavitt) Sanborn. He graduated Harvard in 1855. As secretary of the Massachusetts Kansas Commission he came into close touch with John Brown. From 1863 to 1867 Sanborn… …   Wikipedia

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