June 10, 1752: Benjamin Franklin discovers electricity with kite experiment
Can you imagine life without electricity? That’s the question that Benjamin Franklin faced when he decided to investigate. The founding father actually spent a decade studying electrical currents back when not many people knew what it was. Find out how Mr. Franklin discovered electricity with his famous kite experiment.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Franklin came into the world in January 1706. His father specialized in making soaps and candles, and his mother took care of their 17 children. Crazily enough, Franklin was pulled out of school at ten-years-old to work as a printing apprentice for one of his brothers. After some drama with his bro, Franklin relocated to Philly. As a full-time printer, he became well-known for his publication Poor Richard’s Almanack.
The day was June 10, 1752, and Franklin had an extremely bright idea. His historical kite experiment was extremely risky. It had been conducted before, killing a physicist in the process. With the help of his son William Franklin, Franklin fearlessly set out to reproduce the famed test. Taking advantage of a gathering thunderstorm, he ran outside and flew his kite. Once the lighting hit his kite, he gathered its electrical charge in his special Leyden jar. After ten years of experimenting, he finally accomplished his goal: to demonstrate the immense power of electricity.
Stroke of genius
Besides being an electrical genius, Franklin was literally one of the main people that incorporated the United States. As a politician, he spent 40 years serving in domestic and international governments. In fact, he was the only lawmaker that put his signature on all of the legal documents that founded the U.S., including the Declaration of Independence. In April 1790, Franklin was laid to rest. Yet, his electrical discovery continues to light up the world for all.