A little over three hundred years ago today, Benjamin Franklin was born. Politician, author, diplomat—he wore a lot of hats. And, of course, inventor is added to that list, too. He gets credit for bifocals, flexible catheters, long-arm reaching poles (which probably have a real name, but I don’t know what it is), even the first map of the Gulf Stream. The list could go on and on. He was a man of ideas; he had a knack for recognizing a void and finding a way to fill it.
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Franklin doesn’t get a national holiday or anything, not even National Inventors’ Day, which is celebrated on the birthday of Thomas Edison. However, his special day does get to be the basis of K.I.D.—Kid Inventors’ Day. The honor arises because one of Franklin’s many creations was swim fins, which he invented when he was only 11.
And he’s not the only precocious youngster to grace the world with new ideas. Television, ear muffs, and ice pops were apparently all brought to us by pre-adults. I’m not sure whether to be impressed or suddenly feel that my childhood was horribly misspent.
What about you? Ever have any grand ideas that could change the world?