NARRATOR 6: Mr. Franklin founded the first public library in 1731. He wanted everyone to have the opportunity to read even if they could not afford to buy books. Through his group, the Leather Apron Club, books were purchased and a lending library was begun: “The Library Company of Philadelphia.” Plus, he started the American Philosophical Society. (Props: books)
NARRATOR 7: In his old age, it was harder for him to reach the books that were up on the top shelves. He invented a tool called the long arm, a long wooden pole with a grasping claw on the end to grab the books from the higher shelves.
2ND NARRATOR: Wait! You have him old already. What about his younger life? What about all the other inventions?
NARRATOR 8: Well…Ben Franklin invented electricity!
NARRATOR 9: Actually…He didn’t invent it. He discovered that lightening was a source of electricity. He knew that there was much to learn from lightening and that it was more than just a mysterious force of nature that many people believed was God’s punishment. So, in 1752, he attached a metal piece to the top of a kite and a key at the end of the kite string. Lightening struck the kite and came down the string to the key. When he touched the key, it sparked. It was not always safe, as he was knocked unconscious on two occasions while experimenting with electricity.
NARRATOR 10: After studying lightening and electricity, Ben invented lightening bells. These would be set up at the end of the source hooked up, like a lightening rod, and whenever there was lightening in the area, the bells would start ringing.
NARRATOR 11: The lightening rod is the most remembered invention from his study of electricity. If lightening struck the rod, it would travel down a cable and then ten feet into the ground rather that into the building, thus setting it on fire. Many wooden structures burned in those days from being struck by lightening. It became a very useful invention for buildings and ships.
To be continued…