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Ben Franklin

"Long Arm"


Franklin was a great lover of books. However, reaching books on high shelves was a challenge. So, in 1786, the ever resourceful Franklin solved the problem by inventing the "long arm," which is simply a wooden pole with a grasping claw at the end. Simple, clever, effective.

Philad. Feb. 12. 1786

Dear Jonathan,

I wrote to you a few Days since, and sent you 4 philosophical Papers, which I permitted your communicating to Mr. Bowdoin. As they are chiefly speculative and hypothetical, and, (except the Description of the long Arm, a new Instrument for taking down Books from high Shelves) contain little of practical Utility.

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