EXHIBIT: Poor Richard's Web Site

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Science  17 Mar 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5767, pp. 1529
DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5767.1529d

Which early American politician could claim significant discoveries in meteorology, physics, and navigation? Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) notched these achievements in his spare time, when he wasn't earning a fortune in the printing business or helping invent a country. This biographical site from the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, a Philadelphia nonprofit organization set up to honor the Founding Father's 300th birthday this year, offers several pages on Franklin's scientific work. It goes beyond the famous kite-flying experiment that demonstrated lightning was a form of electricity. For instance, Franklin's shipboard notes on everything from sea temperatures to whale feeding habits inspired an improved chart of the Gulf Stream. The Frankliniana section includes samples of his scientific gear, such as an early battery made from water-filled jars.


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