AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXVII , No. 1, Spring 2005

 

Ben Franklin's Leyden Jars
Franklin's Leyden Jars, now at the American Philosophical Society. After earning enough to retire as a gentleman, Franklin undertook electrical experiments, which led him among other achievements to explain the action of these capacitors in terms of positive and negative electricity. When he went to Paris as ambassador of the newborn American republic, Franklin's fame as the "Newton of Electricity" gave him an entree to French society that provided crucial leverage in gaining the support that proved invaluable for the nation's independence. Photo by Peter Harholdt.


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