In this episode of Brain+Trust’s Say-It-Again podcast, Jo explores the early history of electromagnetic theory, as discovered by one of America’s Founding Fathers: the one and only Benjamin Franklin. Along with C-Motive CEO Matt Maroon and brand manager Rachel Hoppe, we’ll talk about Franklin’s early experiments, his famous key on a kite, catching lighting in a bottle, and what one of Franklin’s most famous “parlor tricks” has to do with the future of the industrial world.

You can listen to this one on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon MusicRadio Public, and more — or, simply click on the Spotify player, below, and let us know what you think of today’s episode in the comments.





    • We all know about Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite experiment — or, do we? If that famous tale wasn’t a part of your childhood education, you can learn more about it from this article published at the Franklin Institute.
    • Similarly, we mention Ben Franklin’s travels to France to help broker the deal that would eventually help the Americans win the War of Independence. If you’re not familiar with the debt America owes the French for that victory, you can read more about it here.
    • We talk about electricity being seen as something like magic to 18th century Americans, and that wasn’t an exaggeration. Franklin wrote, “At this Key the Phial may be charg’d; and from Electric Fire thus obtain’d, Spirits may be kindled, and all the other Electric Experiments be perform’d.” (Emphasis ours.)
    • Jo does his best to describe Ben Franklin’s electrostatic machine, but this is what it really looks like:

    • This the original patent drawing for the original electrostatic motor, which made just enough power to spin a few thimbles at a few dozen RPM:

    • We talk quite a bit about C-Motive and their development of modern, commercially viable electrostatic drive motors — but you really have to check it out for yourself to wrap your head around how conventional something so un-conventional can look. From the outside, these look like motors you can put to work in your factory today. Click here to check out their website.