Is there a good (or even mediocre) published expository account of Benjamin Franklin's work on electricity?

From what I have read and heard, it appears that

  • Franklin may have been the first to ascertain that lightning is an instance of the same force of nature seen in electrical phenomena observed in commonplace circumstances;

  • Franklin invented the lightning conductor, which protects buildings from burning down when struck by lightning;

  • Franklin was the first to call certain electric charges "positive" and others "negative", and his choice of which is which has persisted despite later being found to be less felicitous than if he had made the opposite choice;

  • Franklin invented the battery.

A good expository account would make that list more complete and would say how Franklin's work fit in with the work of others before and during Franklin's life, and perhaps how later researchers relied upon Franklin's work.

  • $\begingroup$ 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
    Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 17:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is the following the kind of narrative you are looking for? Park Benjamin, "A History of Electricity: (The Intellectual Rise in Electricity) from Antiquity to the Days of Benjamin Franklin," New York: J. Wiley & Sons, 1895, chapter 16 $\endgroup$
    – njuffa
    Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 19:02
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    $\begingroup$ "Franklin invented the battery." Really? That is usually credited to Alessandro Volta, around 1799/1800 (sources vary) which is why we talk about volts rather than franklins. Franklin seems to have introduced the term battery into electrical use in a 1749 letter discussing multiple connected Leyden jars (capacitors in modern terminology). $\endgroup$
    – Graham Nye
    Commented Apr 17, 2022 at 12:47
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    $\begingroup$ Volta invented what we now call a battery - a collection of electrochemical cells generating electricity. A number of, dare I say American, sources seem to be rather vague on the nature of Franklin's battery. $\endgroup$
    – Graham Nye
    Commented Apr 17, 2022 at 12:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I.B. Cohen, Benjamin Franklin's Science (1990). $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 10:22


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