Although Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison were born in different eras they are two of the most important inventors and contributors to society, and the development of many of today's new technologies. Thomas Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. With only three months of formal education he became one of the greatest inventors and industrial leaders in history. Edison obtained 1,093 United States patents, the most issued to any individual. Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston Massachusetts. Franklin was one of the leading founding fathers of the United States of America. He signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, and served as the new nation's ablest diplomat. Franklin had a simple formula for success. He believed that successful people worked just a little harder than other people. Benjamin Franklin certainly did. He worked hard to achieve his goals and so did Edison. Edison had great faith in progress and industry, and valued long, hard work. He used to say, "Genius was 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." Edison believed that inventing useful products offered everyone the opportunity for fame and fortune while benefiting societyFranklin was unequaled in America as an inventor until Thomas Edison. He invented the Franklin stove, bifocal eyeglasses and the lightning rod. Franklin wasn't greedy about his inventions, preferring to have them used freely for the comfort and convenience of everyone. These inventions don't seem unusual to us but at that time they were far fetched. His bifocals led to reading and sunglasses. Then that led to the invention of contact lenses. I use contact lenses and if it weren't for him discovering the bifocal hundreds of years ago I might not be able to see as well today.