Benjamin Franklin: The Perfect Persona - Essay Example

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BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (The Perfect Persona) Justin M. Henderson Student ID Number: Name of Course: History 331 Professor Dr. Garber Name of School (University) Word Count: 2,224 (excludes abstract) December 12, 2012 ABSTRACT Few people have changed the course of human history as much as all those great innovators and scientists of the past…
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Benjamin Franklin: The Perfect Persona
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Download file to see previous pages The famous lightning rod is the invention that sent Ben Franklin into world fame. Some questions have been raised on whether or not the kite and key experiment was just a hoax, to receive the favor of the Royal Society of London. However, regardless of these small doubts, Franklin is largely considered a genius of his day. Even by today’s standard, he is a man with so many successes that few have ever reached or surpassed. He was truly a polymath, an expert on so many areas in human endeavors. It was the kite and key experiment which cemented his own reputation because he was able to prove convincingly that lighting is just a form of electricity. It was a relatively simple but dangerous experiment but this single experiment defined his persona. With his broad intelligence and sharp wit, he was able to unequivocally present several versions of himself through his varied personas, shifting from one persona to another with equal aplomb. It was truly an outstanding achievement for a person in his time, and for these accomplishments, he is known for several things which perpetuated his legacy among the great people in history. A person of his stature left a lasting imprint on succeeding generations for which people are greatly thankful for his scientific inventions and enduring contributions to the knowledge of mankind. In this paper, the scientific persona of Benjamin Franklin is discussed in greater detail to show how his scientific genius contributed to the understanding and knowledge of the nature of electricity, which in his time, was still newly-researched and barely understood by a majority of people. Introduction Benjamin Franklin is rightly considered as one of the intellectual giants of his time and perhaps of all time. Although a printer by trade or profession, he acquired his worldwide fame as a scientist, and in particular, his leading-edge experiments on electricity which in his time was a little understood scientific concept. Among his peers, he is considered as the most accomplished American, being adept in a variety of roles as an author, political theorist, civic activist, diplomat and statesman. As a scientist, he embodied the golden age of the American Enlightenment, by his profound theories on physics and his illuminating discoveries on the nature of electricity, which was still in its infancy at that time and poorly understood as a form of energy. It is quite difficult to ascribe a particular persona to a person who is so accomplished in a good number of fields but Ben Franklin as a leading-edge scientist can be considered as his persona that outshone the other personas he had manifested to society at large, and to the scientific community, in particular. Many of the concepts and ideas concerning electricity were discovered around the turn of the seventeenth century, about the same time frame when Ben Franklin lived and did his own experiments on electricity. Contrary to popular opinion, he did not discover nor invent electricity as electricity had always existed before in Nature, such as in lightning during thunderstorms and in some unique animal species, such as the electric eel, which incidentally was mentioned by the ancient Egyptians as early as 2750 B.C.E. (before current era). What Franklin discovered and for which he is credited was the discovery of the relationship between lighting and electricity, that these two phenomena are somewhat ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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