March 21, 2003
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Franklin

Benjamin Franklin, one of the great scientists of his age, invented a home heating device that saved vast amounts of fuel while ensuring that working people in New England would often have warmer accommodations than even the wealthy back in the UK. He declined the offer of a patent, saying,

"That as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously."

From The First American by H. W. Brands, a biography my uncle Lionel heartily recommends.