WootBot


quality posts: 15 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

Lord Almighty, I feel my temperature rising. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, July is the beginning of the “dog days” of summer, the hottest period of the year. But you know what’s cool on a hot day? Knowledge. Grab a tall glass of lemonade, settle down in a hammock under a shady tree, and let Jeopardy! wunderkind Ken Jennings set you straight on some shamefully persistent misinformation about hot stuff.

The Debunker: Did Benjamin Franklin Invent the Franklin Stove?

Benjamin Franklin was certainly one of the great inventors of his time, and his lively intellect led to a series of innovations we still benefit from today: bifocals, the lightning rod, the flexible urinary catheter. Yes, every time an old person is able to finish their Sudoku while not getting struck by lightning and/or peeing his hospital bed, we have Ben Franklin to thank.

healthy, wealthy, and warm

But strangely, the one invention that most famously bears the Philadelphia printer-diplomat’s name is not really a Ben Franklin joint. He did invent a metal-lined stove in 1741 that he called the Pennsylvania Fire-place, which he hoped would heat a room more efficiently and with less smoke than previous stoves. The only problem with the “Franklin stove” was that it sucked. Or rather, that it did not suck. Franklin’s design relied on an “inverted siphon”—a U-shaped duct connecting the stove to the flue—but the longer duct produced a poor draft. Franklin’s brother spent decades trying to get the stove to catch on, but sold only two.

Forty years later, a colleague of Ben’s named David Rittenhouse simplified Franklin stove into an improved design: angled sides to radiate more heat into the room, and an L-shaped exhaust pipe to vent out the smoke. He called his invention the Rittenhouse stove, and it became ubiquitous on both sides of the Atlantic. But do we call his brilliant gift to humanity the Rittenhouse stove? We do not. We still call it the Franklin stove. Even in colonial America, fame was a powerful currency.

Quick Quiz: What company, famous for its lanterns and camping stoves, was named for its founder, a businessman who was mayor of Wichita, Kansas in the 1920s?

Ken Jennings is the author of six books, most recently his Junior Genius Guides, Because I Said So!, and Maphead. He's also the proud owner of an underwhelming Bag o' Crap. Follow him at ken-jennings.com or on Twitter as @KenJennings.

curtise


quality posts: 20 Private Messages curtise

WhatsamattaU makes you click on a link??
I would just say Coleman!
-=C=-

tjamil


quality posts: 26 Private Messages tjamil

Wait one second, Ken Jennings! Does this also mean that the Dutch Oven was not invented by the Dutch?

moles1138


quality posts: 24 Private Messages moles1138
tjamil wrote:Wait one second, Ken Jennings! Does this also mean that the Dutch Oven was not invented by the Dutch?



...and French Fries are not from France?

Momanon


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Momanon

...and Mourning Doves come out in the daytime?

wj68


quality posts: 1 Private Messages wj68
moles1138 wrote:...and French Fries are not from France?



...and Scotch Tape is not from Scotland?

dfwhokie


quality posts: 3 Private Messages dfwhokie

... and green beans not from Greenland?

brady614


quality posts: 23 Private Messages brady614

And famous Amos cookies are actually crafted by Aunt Jemima? and it is all an elaborate cover up so she could create a company using her cousin Amos name? Who she had exiled from the country so she could steal his cookie recipes?

x4

morachi


quality posts: 5 Private Messages morachi

...and Chinese Checkers didn't originate in China?

RonaldS1


quality posts: 0 Private Messages RonaldS1

On Kens quiz, would you believe that it was Mr Coleman!!

whatsamattaU


quality posts: 1071 Private Messages whatsamattaU
curtise wrote:WhatsamattaU makes you click on a link??
I would just say Coleman!
-=C=-



I don't always want to reveal the answer straight out if anyone else wants to guess, give the option to guess the answer before clicking (or let someone else like you put the answer straight out). I've been doing this the last few months, nothing new.

Everbody


quality posts: 4 Private Messages Everbody

and you can't get any panda meat from Panda Express?

------------------------
Quid malmborg im Plano
------------------------

WaltAmante


quality posts: 0 Private Messages WaltAmante
RonaldS1 wrote:On Kens quiz, would you believe that it was Mr Coleman!!



The proper response would be, Who is Mr. Coleman?

baldgod


quality posts: 0 Private Messages baldgod

As a resident of Wichita, living about 2 miles from the Coleman factory... I can't imagine who the answer could be.

FONdude69


quality posts: 0 Private Messages FONdude69
baldgod wrote:As a resident of Wichita, living about 2 miles from the Coleman factory... I can't imagine who the answer could be.



I'm sorry to hear that. I've been to Wichita.

Wootman1126pg


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Wootman1126pg

Coleman!

rejiii


quality posts: 2 Private Messages rejiii

Who knew?