• Benjamin Franklin: A Documentary History
  • Benjamin Franklin: Glimpses of the Man
  • Benjamin Franklin in London

Benjamin Franklin House

It presented Benjamin Franklin as the inventor of bifocals.

Benjamin Franklin’s Mathematics

Benjamin Franklin was a hyperope who likely required eyeglasses originally in the 1730s.
The important thing to Franklin was always the idea – it would make life simpler for an aging man – “another thing to be freely shared with all old men so that their lives might be made easier” (from a famous quotation by Charles Snyder).

He decided to print the in the name of Benjamin Franklin.

(Letter from Benjamin Franklin to John Alleyne, Esquire, October 30, 1789)
This PBS website derives from a three-part series on Benjamin Franklin’s life and work. Learn more about Franklin in his roles as exemplary citizen, prolific writer, eminent scientist, and worldly diplomat. Experience his most memorable accomplishmentsby making electric sparks, strolling down the streets of “Ben’s Town,” andsailing across the Atlantic. With lesson plans for teachers, an interactivetimeline, and a long list of resources, this site has something for all of Franklin’s admirers.


Benjamin Franklin Lesson Plans and Teaching Ideas

On the Shoulders of Giants: Benjamin Franklin
Contains a downloadable teacher’s guide and reproducible worksheet for students. Students can use the site to learn interesting facts about Benjamin Franklin, test their knowledge of him with an interactive quiz, and meet Benjamin Franklin scholar Walter Isaacson.

Video clips and questions in conjunction with the C-Span program featuring Franklin and his Choose from three themes: inventions, printing, and diplomacy. (Adaptable for all grade levels)

Benjamin Franklin: A Man of Many Talents from

These sites contain lesson plans, links to other resources online and in print, and an array of tools for teachers aiming to bring Benjamin Franklin into the classroom.

Benjamin Franklin: A Man of Many Talents

Compound corrective lenses, usually bifocals or trifocals, and with increasing frequency, progressive multifocal length eyeglasses are the modern-day result of the remarkable evolution from Benjamin Franklin’s original simple and practical creation.

Benjamin Franklin Video Lesson Plans

A list of resources for teaching Benjamin Franklin with a literary flair. Includes links to e-texts of Franklin’s , as well as reading comprehension, vocabulary enrichment, and discussion activities for his writings.

Lesson Plan on Benjamin Franklin’s Inventions

What better way to learn about Benjamin Franklin than to hear from the man himself? Franklin wrote avidly throughout his life. His , though never finished, remains the most widely read memoir of all time. He also penned essays for newspapers, letters to family and friends, and his infamous aphorisms. The websites listed below contain primary source documents that are required reading for Franklin scholars of all levels.

A word from Benjamin Franklin always calmed them.

The Bakken’s mission is to further the understanding of the history, cultural context, and applications of electricity and magnetism and their role in life. Its website contains online exhibitions and conference abstracts, a description of a modern-day lightning detector, visitor information, and a wonderfully clear explanation of the science behind Franklin’s famous kite and key experiment.