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Electronics >> History of Electronics >> Inventions and Contribution of Ben Franklin to Electronics

Ben Franklin (1746-52)

Flew kites to demonstrate that lightning is a form of static electricity (ESD). He would run a wire to the kite and produce sparks at the ground, or charge a Leyden jar. This led Franklin to invent the lightning rod.

Franklin also made several electrostatic generators with rotating glass balls to experiment with.

These experiments led him to formulate the single fluid (imponderable fluid) theory of electricity. Previous theories had held there were two electrical fluids and two magnetic fluids. Franklin theorized just one imponderable electrical fluid (a fluid under conservation) in the universe.

The difference in electrical charges was explained by an excess (+) or defect (-) of the single electrical fluid. This is where the positive and negative symbols come from in electrical science.

Ben Franklin
Ben Franklin

Franklin electrostatic generator
Franklin electrostatic generator

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