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Since Europe has had numerous people in various fields make several contributions over the centuries, was the same nature of study and academia reflected in the colonies of the western hemisphere? Specifically, the question is about British America, where most of the modern Ivy League (and The College of William and Mary) had already been established before the American Revolutionary War. Was there a colonial equivalent of the Royal Society? Did academics who studied in the thirteen American colonies travel overseas to work with their contemporaries and colleagues? I am aware that Benjamin Franklin established the University of Pennsylvania, but were there any scientists who had been working on groundbreaking research by the time the colonies started to rebel against the United Kingdom?

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    $\begingroup$ A standard work on the subject is Science in the British Colonies of America, By Raymond Phineas Stearns. (1970). $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2020 at 19:44

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Benjamin Franklin was the originator of the terms "positive" and "negative" as they refer to electric charges (but of course those same words referring to other things existed before that), and he invented the battery and the lightning conductor and made other important contributions to understanding of electricity. (But he was not the first to do scientific work on electricity. Children are often taught that "Franklin discovered electricity." What children are taught about things like that in elementary school is often just fairy tales. (Ambrose Bierce in The Devil's Dictionary jocularly calls Franklin the "inventor of electricity".))

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  • $\begingroup$ so you ask a question hsm.stackexchange.com/questions/14385/… and you figure i might as well answer something here? hsm.stackexchange.com/questions/11903/… $\endgroup$
    – BCLC
    Apr 15, 2022 at 17:39
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    $\begingroup$ @BCLC : yes. ${}$ $\endgroup$ Apr 15, 2022 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ "he invented the battery " is somewhat misleading. He maybe invented the use of the term "battery" in an electrical context, but what he invented is not what we now call a battery, that is, the Voltaic pile. $\endgroup$ Apr 15, 2022 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ Franklin's "battery" consisted of multiple connected Leyden jars (glass jar capacitors). $\endgroup$
    – Graham Nye
    Apr 17, 2022 at 12:43

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