Ben Franklin created a long arm to reach top shelves

Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the USA, wasn’t short at all; he was 5 feet 11 inches tall. Still, he invented a reaching device due to his love of books.

With a home featuring floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, Franklin needed something to reach the top shelves without using a step ladder, so he created a “long arm” in his workshop. A very rudimentary tool, it was just a piece of wood with two “fingers” mounted on the end, but by pulling on a cable, he could bring the fingers together to grip a book off a high shelf.

Nowadays, versions of his invention can still be seen.



No responses

Add comment