Benjamin Franklin: Biography, Trivia, And Facts About The Founding Father

The guy from the Dos Equis commercials might be the most interesting man in the world, but in the 1700s, that title could have easily gone to Benjamin Franklin. He was a true Renaissance man, not only a charming intellectual but also a politician, writer, postmaster, printer, inventor, and much, much more.

Franklin's Early Life

Ben Franklin was the 10th child of 17 kids and often lost in the shuffle, once quipping that he was "the youngest son of the youngest son for five generations back." As a result, he couldn't expect much of an inheritance, so he was determined instead to get by on his mind. He learned to read quite early, and he was mostly self-taught, possessing only two years of formal education. When he was 12 years old, Franklin was apprenticed to his brother, who started the New-England Courant in 1721, to learn the craft of printing.

Franklin fancied himself a writer and first took up poetry but soon discovered that, as much as he loved reading it, he was not very good at writing it. He switched to prose with much more success, noting that learning to write well was "of great use to me in the course of my life and was a principal means of my advancement." He first showed off his writing chops when he was 16 years old in a series of 14 essays that he sent to the Courant under the pen name of Silence Dogood. Even Franklin's brother didn't know he was the writer, remarking that Ms. Dogood appeared to be a highly educated and sophisticated world traveler.

Benjamin Franklin (center) at work on a printing press

Party in london

In his late teens, Ben Franklin and a friend traveled to London, where he quickly found work as a printer, navigating the Thames from Chelsea to Blackigars (he was a lifelong swimming enthusiast and even in 1968 Inducted into the Swimming Hall of Fame), and associated it with young women in London. The fact that he had a girlfriend back home whom he promised to marry upon his return did not stop him. In fact, around the same time, he had published an essay in which he argued that if he did not have true freedom of choice, no one could be held morally responsible for his actions. Sure thing, Ben.

Her motivations for writing the essay, Franklin, made good on her promise to Mrs. Franklin in the future, but it was a rocky marriage, plagued by infidelity that Franklin accused of a strong sex drive that accused her of "women." Was taken in search. "To a lesser reputation" and even leave his wife for a time. When he reconciled with her, he brought his illegitimate son, William, to his home to raise them with his children.

Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky c. 1816 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, by Benjamin West.

Franklin inventor

Benjamin Franklin was a lifelong tinkerer, always thinking about problems and possible solutions. He developed a practical system for streetlights, built one of the first pairs of swim flippers, and designed a more efficient heating stove. After his experiments with electricity, he made metal lightning rods with ground wires, which he placed on tall buildings to prevent lightning strikes on the ground, saving countless homes and businesses from fire. He also created bifocal glasses to help him read. Franklin never applied for a patent, realizing that it was more important to help more people with their inventions than to get rich.

As a writer and printer, Franklin spent a lot of time working with letters, and in 1768, he also invented his own alphabet. Realizing that the traditional alphabet was meaningless and confusing, he emphasized the sounds and pronunciation and omitted "unnecessary letters" from his alphabet, including C, Q, J, X, W and Y. It may not have caught on, but his printing legacy as a Franklin Gothic font ends, so it was named because the type of cool serif letters Franklin appreciated served the font.

However, Franklin's most significant contribution to modern society was by accident. When he was sent to France to negotiate treaties in 1784, he was annoyed that the scorching sun had woken him up early each morning and suggested in a comic essay that we would spend our bedtime again. Arrange to emerge from and set the sun up when he returns to the states, saying that we change our clocks twice a year to better align our daily schedule with the sun, Kept a little bit. According to all accounts, he meant it as a joke, but in the early 1900s, the idea gained traction.

John Trumbull presenting his work to the Congress, representing a committee of five

French loved franklin

Ben Franklin was quite advanced in age, when his talent as a writer was tapped to assist with the Declaration of Independence. At the age of 70, he was the oldest person to sign the Declaration and the only founding father to sign it and the other three major documents used by the United States to gain its independence: the US Constitution, Paris Treaties and Treaties. Formed an alliance with France.

Franklin and France were well acquainted. In fact, she was a legend in the land of champagne and cigarettes. His intellectual gifts and natural humor made him a star in the Parisian social scene and more than a few feminine French hearts, a feeling he returned with joy. When Franklin died on April 17, 1790, at the age of 85, the French National Assembly declared an official day of mourning his demise.

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