Boston Electric: Lessons from Benjamin Franklin’s Experiments

While it was all the way back in 1752 that Founding Father Benjamin Franklin first flew a kite into a storm to capture an electrical charge, there are many things that we take for granted today with regard to electricity that might not have occurred were it not for this extraordinary man. Prior to performing his most well-known experiment, Franklin had dabbled in electrical experiments for more than a decade. In fact, he had survived many experiments with electricity before he achieved success, some of which actually knocked him out cold.

As a provider of Greater Boston electrical repair services and installations for residential and commercial clients, we thought it fitting to pay homage to a man who was the creator of much of the electrical terminology that we use every day. For example, because his electrical experimentation was so new, there simply weren’t words available to describe some of the things that he was discovering. Words that we use, including battery, condenser, conductor, plus, minus, charge, positively, and negatively, all came from Benjamin Franklin.

Why His Experiments Were So Important
There have been a lot of assumptions made about Franklin’s lightning experiment throughout the years, and a lot of what he did has been watered down through time. The experiment itself was quite dangerous. Franklin wanted to prove that lightning was a form of electricity that could be collected. He planned to fly a kite high up into the clouds during a thunderstorm, using a key to draw off the electricity from the lightning, which would produce a shock to demonstrate that static electricity had indeed been collected.

Months before he performed this epic experiment, Franklin sent a detailed description of his ideas for the experiment to a colleague. The work that Franklin did became the basis for the “single fluid” theory. This theory states that when something is being charged, such as a battery, the electricity flows from a positive body with an excess charge to a negative body with a negative charge. If you look at a car battery or even a consumer-based battery for electronics, you will see Franklin’s plus symbol for the positive charge and minus symbol for the negative charge on the terminals.

Beyond the Kite & the Key
Commercial and residential electrical services in Boston have been greatly influenced by the experiments of Benjamin Franklin. Advances that have been made in telephone data installation, commercial solar installation, and even everyday household electrical systems can all be traced back in some way or another to the experiments and discoveries that he made over 250 years ago.

Other Franklin inventions, such as the lightning rod, are still used today. After learning about the behavior of electricity, he worked on a method to protect houses from lightning by attaching a rod to the top of a building that was connected to the ground with a wire. The electrical charge was conducted into the ground after striking the rod, protecting the home from catching on fire and the people from becoming electrocuted.

Modern Electrical Services
Most homes today rely heavily on electricity to operate appliances, lighting, heating and cooling, and other essential devices. While the methods used for electrical wiring, circuit breakers, and fuses inside American homes have evolved and changed throughout the years, many of the basic principles have remained the same. Boston electrical repair services, preventive maintenance services, and installation of new technology have made today’s homes even more efficient.

Commercial solar installation for residential properties, telephone data installation, home security and fire protection systems are just some of the projects that today’s homeowners are installing with the assistance of professional residential electrical services in Boston and the surrounding area. It is thanks to the many theories, terminology, and experiments conducted by Benjamin Franklin and others who were inspired by his early work, that we have so many of the modern conveniences that we enjoy today.

Contact M. Foley Electric
If you are in need of commercial or residential electrical services in Boston and the surrounding Southeastern Massachusetts area, contact M. Foley Electric by calling 857-829-0516. Our team of highly trained technicians and engineers can help you with a variety of electrical services, including emergency repairs, preventive maintenance, and new installations. Whether you need commercial solar installation, telephone data installation, or if you want to upgrade electrical wiring as part of a larger home renovation project, our team can help you to achieve your goals. Call today for a FREE estimate on any of the services that we provide.