What Is the Story of Benjamin Franklin?

who is benjamin franklin
who is benjamin franklin

In 1682, Josiah Franklin and his wife emigrated to Boston from Northamptonshire, England. His wife died in Boston, leaving Josiah and their seven children alone, but not for long, Josiah Franklin later married a prominent colonial lady named Abiah Folger. Josiah Franklin, a soap and confectioner, was fifty-one and his second wife, Abiah, was thirty-nine when a great American inventor was born on January 17, 1706, in their Milk Street home.

Benjamin was the eighth child of Josiah and Abiah and the tenth son of Josiah. There was no luxury in her crowded household with her thirteen children. Benjamin's formal schooling was less than two years, and he started working in his father's shop at the age of ten.

Benjamin Franklin was restless and unhappy in the shop. He hated soap making. His father took him to various shops in Boston to see different artisans at work, in the hopes that he would be drawn to some trade. But Benjamin Franklin saw nothing he wanted to follow.

His fondness for books eventually determined his career. His older brother James was a printer, and in those days a printer had to be a mechanic as well as a literary man. The editor of a newspaper most likely had a journalist, printer, and owner. Several newspaper terms evolved from these one-man operations. The editor often created his articles in preparation for the type to be printed; So “composing” meant typesetting, and the person who established the genre was the composer.

James Franklin needed an apprentice and so Benjamin Franklin was bound by the law to serve his brother when he was 13 years old. James Franklin was the editor and printer of the "New England Courant", the fourth newspaper published in the colonies. Benjamin began to write articles for this newspaper.

When her brother was put in prison, the newspaper was published under Benjamin Franklin's name, as he owned print material that was considered defamatory and was forbidden to continue as a publisher.

Escape to Philadelphia

Benjamin Franklin, unhappy to be his brother's apprentice, fled after serving nearly two years. He secretly booked passage on a ship and arrived in New York in three days. However, William Bradford, the only printer in town, could not employ him. Benjamin then set out for Philadelphia. One Sunday morning in October 1723, a tired and hungry boy landed on the Market Street wharf in Philadelphia and once set off in search of food, work, and adventure.

Benjamin Franklin as Publisher and Printer

In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin got a job with Samuel Keimer, an eccentric printer just starting out. The young printer soon caught the attention of Pennsylvania Governor Sir William Keith, who promised to start his own business. The deal, however, had to go to London first to get to London. The Governor promised to send a letter of credit to London, but he broke his promise and Benjamin Franklin was compelled to go to London for two years.

In London, Benjamin Franklin was the first to print the first of many pamphlets for conservative religions, called "Liberty and Necessity, a Treatise on Pleasure and Suffering." He returned to Philadelphia as soon as possible, although he met some interesting people in London.

Mechanical Skills

Benjamin Franklin's mechanical acumen first manifested when he was working as a printer. He invented the casting type and method of making ink.

The ability to make friends was one of Benjamin Franklin's hallmarks, and the number of his acquaintances grew rapidly. "I am convinced," he wrote, "that truth, sincerity and honesty in the relations between man and man are extremely important to the philosophy of life." Not long after his return from England, he founded the Junto Society, a literary group that discusses and criticizes the writings of its members.

The father of an apprentice at Samuel Keimer's printing house decided to support his son and Benjamin by starting his own printing press. His son soon sold his stake, and Benjamin Franklin left his own business at the age of twenty-four. Anonymously, he published a pamphlet titled “The Nature and Necessity of Paper Currency,” which drew attention to the need for paper money in Pennsylvania and was successful in winning the contract to print money.

Benjamin Franklin wrote: “It's a very lucrative business and it has helped me a lot. Small favors are appreciated. And I have not only been unrealistically hard-working and frugal, but have avoided taking all appearances in an unconventional way. I was seen in a place where there was no idling, and to show I wasn't on top of my work, I sometimes brought home the paper I bought in the streets on a wheelbarrow.

”The odd-sounding title of a newspaper that Benjamin Franklin's former boss, Samuel Keimer, started in Philadelphia was "Universal Lecturer at All Arts and Sciences and Pennsylvania Newspapers." After Samuel Keimer declared bankruptcy, Benjamin Franklin took over the newspaper with ninety subscribers.

Benjamin Franklin removed this feature and dropped the first part of the long name. In the hands of Benjamin Franklin, the “Pennsylvania Gazette” soon became profitable. The newspaper was later renamed "The Saturday Evening Post".

The newspaper ran local news, “The Spectator” from the London newspaper, jokes, verses, humorous attacks on Bradford's “Mercury,” a rival paper, moral essays by Benjamin, elaborate hoaxes, and political satire. Oftentimes, Benjamin wrote and had letters written to emphasize some fact or to ridicule some mythical but typical reader.

In 1732 Benjamin Franklin published "Poor Richard's Almanac". Three editions were sold in a few months. Over the years, the words of publisher Richard Saunders and his wife, Bridget, both Benjamin Franklin's wife, were printed in the almanac. Years later, the most striking of these words were collected and published in a book.

Benjamin Franklin is also a shop where he sells various goods such as legal loopholes, ink, pens, paper, books, maps, paintings, chocolate, coffee, cheese, codfish, soap, linseed oil, broadcloth, Godfrey's cordial, tea, glasses kept it. , rattlesnake, lottery ticket and stoves.

Deborah Read, who became his wife in 1730, was a shopkeeper. “We hired an empty maid,” Franklin wrote, “our desk was plain and simple, our least expensive piece of furniture. For example, for breakfast there was long bread and milk (no tea) and I ate a twopenny. pasty porcelain with a pewter spoon. ”

With all this fruitful attitude, Benjamin Franklin's fortunes skyrocketed. "I have also experienced," he wrote, "the fact of observation is that once you have the first hundred pounds, it is easier to obtain the existence of a productive nature of the second, money."

Retiring from active work at the age of forty-two and devoting himself to philosophical and scientific work.

Benjamin Franklin invented an original and important invention in 1749, named the "Pennsylvania Fireplace" after the Franklin stove. However, Benjamin Franklin did not patent any of his inventions.

Benjamin Franklin and Electricity

Benjamin Franklin worked in many different disciplines. Smoky chimneys read; invented bifocal glasses; studied the effect of oil on mixed water; defined “dry bellflower” as lead poisoning; advocated ventilation on days when the windows were tightly closed at night and always with patients; He researched fertilizer in agriculture.

His scientific observations show that he anticipated some of the great developments of the nineteenth century. His greatest fame as a scientist was the result of his discoveries in electricity. During his visit to Boston in 1746, he saw some electrical experiments and at one time became deeply interested. Peter Collinson, a friend from London, sent him some of Franklin's electrical appliances of the day, as well as some of the equipment Franklin used. In a letter to Collinson, he wrote: “On my part, I have never participated in a study that interests me at all, and I have not had the time, as I did recently.

“Benjamin Franklin's letters to Peter Collinson describe his early experiments on the nature of electricity. Experiments with a small group of friends showed the effect of sharp objects in attracting electricity. He decided that electricity was not the result of friction, but that the mysterious force was dissipated by most matter, and nature was always balanced.

He developed the theory of positive and negative electricity, or plus and minus electrification. The same letter describes some of the tricks the little experimental group is accustomed to playing to their curious neighbors. They put alcohol on the fire, blew candles, produced flashes of lightning, gave shocks when they touched or kissed, and caused an artificial spider to move mysteriously.

Lightning and Electricity

Benjamin Franklin experimented with the Leyden jar, built an electric battery, killed a fowl and roasted it on a spit where electricity turned, sending a current of water to ignite the alcohol, igniting gunpowder, and holding the glass of wine so that the drinkers were shocked.

More importantly, perhaps, he began developing the theory of the identity of lightning and electricity and the possibility of protecting buildings with iron bars. Using an iron rod, he electrocuted his house, and when he studied the effect on the bells, he concluded that clouds were often negatively electrified. In June 1752, he performed his famous kite experiment by drawing electricity from clouds and finally charging a Leyden jar from the wire.

Benjamin Franklin's letters to Peter Collinson were read before the Royal Society, to which Collinson belonged but went unnoticed. Collinson put them together and published in a pamphlet that got a lot of attention. Translated into French, they caused a great stir, and Franklin's results were generally accepted by European scholars. The Tardily-inducing Royal Society elected Franklin a member and awarded him the Copley medal in 1753 with a free address.

Science in the 1700s

It may be helpful to point out some scientific facts and mechanical principles now known to Europeans. More than one learned essay has been written to substantiate the mechanical indebtedness of the modern world, particularly to the works of the mechanically minded Greeks Archimedes, Aristotle, Ctesibius, and Hero of Alexandria. The Greeks used the lever, the fighting, the winch, the power pump and the suction pump. They discovered that although steam was never used in a practical way, steam could be applied mechanically.

Benjamin Franklin's influence among his citizens in Philadelphia was immense. He founded the first circulation library in Philadelphia, and one of the first in the country, and an academy that grew into the University of Pennsylvania. He was also instrumental in establishing a hospital.

Other public issues where the busy printer was engaged were the removal and cleaning of streets, better street lighting, the organization of a police force and a fire company.

A booklet published by Benjamin Franklin, "The Plain Truth," showed the colony's desperation against the French and Indians, led to the organization of a volunteer militia, and the funds were armed by a lottery. Benjamin Franklin himself was elected colonel of the Philadelphia regiment. Despite his militarism, Benjamin Franklin retained his position as House Clerk, although the majority of members opposed war on principle.

The American Philosophical Society owes its origin to Benjamin Franklin. He was formally organized with his movement in 1743, but society recognized the organization of the Junto in 1727 as the true date of his birth. From the very beginning, among the members of society were many men of scientific achievement or pleasure, not only from Philadelphia but from around the world. In 1769 the original society was merged with another for similar purposes, and Benjamin Franklin, the society's first secretary, was elected president and served until his death.

The first major undertaking was the successful observation of the transit of Venus in 1769, and very important scientific discoveries were made by the members and first given to the world at their meeting.

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