Ben Franklin - The Inventor
Ben Franklin, well known for his political contributions to American society and affectionately referred to as one of the Founding Fathers of America also advanced our way of life by his numerous inventions. Interestingly, Franklin never patented his inventions. He was reported to have said, "As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously."
Although sometimes credited with "inventing" electricity, Ben actually invented the lightning rod which protected buildings and ships from lightning damage.
In colonial times homes were warmed by open fireplaces even though they were often dangerous and used a lot of wood. Franklin's invention of the iron furnace stove was safer and the fire contained within the iron stove made the warmth last longer.
Franklin, like many people suffered with being both near-sighted and far-sighted. Frustrated with having to use two different pairs of corrective glasses, he invented the bi-focal glasses with the top half lens used for distance and the bottom half used for close work.
Franklin's inventions don't end there as he also developed a flexible urinary catheter (believed to be the first one produced in America), carriage odometer to determine mail routes and a "long arm" which is a wooden pole with a grasping claw on the end to reach and retrieve objects.