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The lightning rod, Benjamin Franklin, the glass harmonica, and the parachute

Essay #31 History Of Inventions

Hello, today as I say I will be writing about the lightning rod, Benjamin Franklin, the glass harmonica, and the swivel chair. All right, let’s get started.

The lightning rod

The lightning rod is a metal rod placed on top of tall buildings. The lightening rod protect tall buildings against fires from lightning strikes. They work as part of a lightning protection system, they are used to protect all kinds of structures. They were installed on public buildings in 1752 by Benjamin Franklin.

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin discovered, or invented the lightning rod? On one rainy day, by the way this is all in a nutshell, Benjamin Franklin took out a kite and placed a key on the bottom and tried to charge a Leiden jar. The lightning struck it and charge the laden jar, and this is how he invented the lightning rod. The lightning rod wasn’t understood by everyone, some people didn’t like it because they thought that lightning was to show that God was powerful, people from the church said this. And the lightning usually struck the churches or buildings that were tall like the church, and not bars with drunk people. In the end they were installed absolutely everywhere, I’m talking power plants, tall buildings, hotels, apartments, houses, factories, warehouses, everywhere, literally everywhere! If it wasn’t for the lightning rod there would be many more fires, and deaths, then nowadays with the lightning rod.

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston in 1706; he wanted to be a sailor but his father wanted him to be a preacher. In the end he became an apprentice, he was always a learner. He founded a successful newspaper and became a Free Mason. He was one of America’s first inventors, he invented the Franklin stove, which improved the production of heat, meaning that it would heat up the whole house, he invented the bifocals, the glass harmonica and the lightning rod. His autobiography was one of the most successful of its kind, and last but not least he became a founding father of America.

The glass harmonica

Benjamin Franklin’s instrument, the glass harmonica, produced a sweet sound. It sat on its side and spun using a foot pedal, you would pump the pedal with your foot and that would make the shaft spin. It sounded “ethereal” or extremely, extremely beautiful sounding. The instrument became popular for a little while, but then strange things happened which send its popularity into decline. Some of the composers started getting cramps and bad things, a kid even died in a glass harmonica concert, but that was a long time ago, that’s why it went to the decline.

The parachute

As you already know the parachute slows down your descent to the ground, it is used in numerous applications, some of them are: skydiving, rockets, jets, professional athlete competitions, cars, and some toys even have parachutes, like those little army men. Skydiving is a popular sport, all you have to do is be old enough to do it, of course you have to have some training but you know, you don’t have to be always, in the military. Parachutes are also used for safety devices, if a fighter jet dock shut down the pilot with simply eject and pull his parachute. Military use parachutes for airdropping into enemy territory, did you know that skydiving originated from the Russian military in 1930? Anyway overall parachutes are very helpful, and useful invention.

Thank you for reading today’s essay, I really hope you enjoyed. Would you like to share with me what you learned about this week? Again I hope you enjoy it and I’ll see you next time! 🙂


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