By Vittoria Woodill

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you ask a child if they know any superheroes, they’ll give you an answer.

Tuesday marked Benjamin Franklin’s 311th birthday and while many of us know Franklin to be one of our founding fathers, and one incredible inventor, could we deem him to also be an 18th century superhero? He did put the power, in power after all.

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Derek Pits of The Franklin Institute says there is no doubt about it. “People would be surprised to think that of Benjamin Franklin, almost like a secret life,” Pits explained.

A secret life with so many supercharged inventions that changed our world like the creating the first volunteer fire companies anywhere and the creation of the odometer. He also used to figure out the mileage to determine the postage on a piece of mail.

And of course, the lightning rod. In a way, he could control lightning through the lightning rod, redirecting lightning away from buildings so they wouldn’t catch fire.

Franklin was also a really great swimmer and he invented swim fins and paddles.

He also dabbled in music with the invention of the glass harmonica.

Franklin stood out as a hero with many powers and Philadelphia is remembering one of its most prominent historical figures on his birthday.


Vittoria Woodill