Monday, 30 March 2009

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (1709-1790), printer, philosopher, politician, diplomat, scientist, inventor and civic activist, was a major figure in the Age of Enlightenment and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He invented bifocals, the lightning rod, formed the first public lending library in America and played major roles in establishing the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania General Hospital. Benjamin Franklin lived in London as a diplomat (1757-75) at 36 Craven Street, less than half a mile from Bloomsbury. His landlady's son-in-law, William Hewson (1739-74), ran an anatomy school from the house, and during its renovation in 1997, more than 3000 human and animal bones and other material artefacts were excavated. Tania Kasmaully, a PhD student and forensic archaeologist at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, UCL, is working on this extraordinary and unique material.

More about Tania's work can be found here:

Information about Benjamin Franklin in America and Britain:

The pictures above show Benjamin Franklin wearing spectacles (top) and conducting his famous lightning rod experiment.