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Draw the Lightning DownBenjamin Franklin and Electrical Technology in the Age of Enlightenment$
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Michael Brian Schiffer

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520238022

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520238022.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

. The Franklin Phenomenon

. The Franklin Phenomenon

(p.1) 1. The Franklin Phenomenon
Draw the Lightning Down

Michael Brian Schiffer

University of California Press

This book reports the findings that have been woven around the significant contributions of Benjamin Franklin and his friends. To underscore the diversity of the people who created the first electrical technologies, it furnishes throughout a number of brief biographies. The book also considers a few key ideas and terms, beginning with technology. The chapters included in it show that electrical technologies in the eighteenth century participated in many activities: scientific, political, educational, medical, and recreational. They also illustrate that Franklin, adhering to his various virtues, did not allow a latent scientific passion to take command of his life until he reached middle age. By then—the late 1740s—other workers had already begun to cultivate the fertile field of electrophysics. Finally, an overview of the chapters included in the book is presented.

Keywords:   Benjamin Franklin, electrical technologies, electrophysics, scientific activity, political activity, educational activity, medical activity, recreational activity

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