Ben Franklin


: Early Life In his many careers as a printer, moralist, essayist, civic leader, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, and philosopher, for later generations of Americans he became both a spokesman and a model for the national character. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts on Jan. 17, 1706, into a religious Puritan household. His father, Josiah, was a candlemaker and a skillful mechanic. His mother, Abiah Ben’s parents raised thirteen children--the survivors of Josiah’s seventeen children by two wives (#1). Printer & Writer Franklin left school at ten years old when he was pressed into his father's trade. At twelve Ben was apprenticed to his half brother James, a printer of The ...

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(#1). Soon Franklin found a job as a printer. After a year he went to England, where he became a master printer, sowed some wild oats, amazed the locals with his swimming feats, and lived among inspiring writers of London. By 1726 Franklin was tiring of London (#1). He considered becoming an itinerant teacher of swimming, but when a Quaker merchant by the name of Thomas Denham offered him a clerkship in his store in Philadelphia, he decided to return home (#5). Returning to Philadelphia in 1726, he soon owned a newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, and began to print Poor Richard's Almanac. In the Pennsylvania Gazette, a citizen asked editor Franklin the following question: "If A found out that his neighbor B was sleeping with his wife, was he justified in telling B's wife, and persuading her to seek a little revenge with A?" The editor's response: "If an ass kicks me, should I kick him again? (#4)" His business expanded further when he contracted to do the public printing of the ...

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in fact a form of electricity. Later that year his famous kite experiment, in which he flew a kite with the wire attached to a key during a thunderstorm, further established that laboratory-produced static electricity was akin to a previously mysterious and terrifying natural phenomenon (#1). He was elected to the Royal Society in 1756 and to the French Academy of Sciences in 1772(#3). His later achievements included formulating a theory of heat absorption, measuring the Gulf Stream, designing ships, and tracking storm paths. Statesman & Diplomat Franklin held local public offices and served twelve years as a postmaster for Philadelphia. In the Plan of Union, which he presented (1754), ...

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Added: 5/21/2008 04:37:36 AM
Category: World History
Words: 3277
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