Ben Franklin: Sonic Explorer

11:52 minutes

Ben Franklin was the quintessential Renaissance man—he was a statesman, wordsmith, inventor…and sonic pioneer. This Fourth of July, Ira explores Franklin’s experiments with sound, from inventing the first American musical instrument (the glass armonica) to testing the reach of the human voice.

Listen to a glass armonica in action:

Segment Guests

Braxton Boren

Braxton Boren is a Ph.D. candidate at the Steinhardt School’s Music and Audio Research Lab at New York University in New York, New York.

Meet the Producers

About Annie Minoff

Annie Minoff is Science Friday’s SciArts producer. She’s visited Olympic ski jumps and a nuclear reactor, all in the name of science.

About Becky Fogel

Becky Fogel is Science Friday’s production assistant. She would like to build a Rube Goldberg machine that dumps donuts on her desk. But until then, she enjoys working beside her ceramic dinosaur and Drake painting.