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Craven Street Discoveries

 

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Benjamin Franklin was already a renowned scientist when he arrived in London on his first diplomatic mission, having coined such terms as ‘battery’, ‘positive/negative’ and ‘charge’ through his work on electricity. While lodging at 36 Craven Street, Franklin conducted many further important experiments and research projects such as:

  • 'Smoothing' water with oil
  • Investigating canal depths and their implication
  • Recording the effects of the Gulf stream
  • Developing an alternative alphabet

Franklin also invented the following in his Craven Street laboratory, a key room on the Historical Experience at Benjamin Franklin House:

  • An "economical" clock with three wheels to ensure a perpetual 24-hour cycle
  • A popular fireplace draught, the ‘Franklin stove’
  • The glass armonica (or harmonica), for which Mozart and Bach composed
  • Bifocal spectacles (read more here)
  • A new, more effective lightning rod – installed on the dome of St Paul’s cathedral, London

In recognition of these innovations, 36 Craven Street has been designated a ‘Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing’ by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.