surname attested from late 12c., Middle English Frankeleyn, from Anglo-French fraunclein "a land-owner of free but not noble birth," from Old French franc "free" (see frank (adj.)), with Germanic suffix also found in chamberlain.
The Franklin stove (1787) so called because it was invented by U.S. scientist/politician Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). In early 19c., lightning rods often were called Franklins.
Franklin Frank·lin (frāngk'lĭn), Rosalind. 1920-1958.
British biophysicist. Her x-ray diffraction studies of DNA led to the description of the full structure of DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick.
American public official, scientist, inventor, and writer who fully established the distinction between negative and positive electricity, proved that lightning and electricity are identical, and suggested that buildings could be protected by lightning conductors. He also invented bifocal glasses, established the direction of the prevailing storm track in North America and determined the existence of the Gulf Stream.
A hundred-dollar bill; c-note: He peels off another five Franklins
[1990s+; fr its portrait of Benjamin Franklin]