Ravenstonedale Kirkby Stephen Cumbria

Brasshopper in Philadelphia 2002

Here is Brasshopper in the autumn of 2002 still travelling the world with Irv and Karen. In this picture he is seen in Philadelphia making friends with Benjamin Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston in 1706 and moved to Philadelphia in 1723. He is arguably best remembered as a scientist who made advances in the study of electricity. He introduced many of the terms we use today in describing electricity such as positive, negative, plus and minus. As a scientist he is famous for flying a kite, to which he had attached a key, during a thunderstorm. The key became charged with electricity. This proved that lightening was electricity. Experiments like this led to the development of lightening conductors used to protect tall buildings from lightening strikes.

Benjamin Franklin was more than a scientist. He was a writer, a philosopher and a politician. He lived in Philadelphia where he became postmaster but also visited England where he lived for some time. He was one of the founding fathers of America, a signatory to the American Constitution. Here is a Cumbrian connection. Can anyone link it to Ravenstonedale...? Franklin visited a William Brownrigg at Ormathwaite, near Keswick in the English Lake District in 1772. Franklin demonstrated to Brownrigg how pouring oil on water could reduce the height of the waves. He did this from a boat on Derwentwater.

Brasshopper in Philadelphia 2002