|Courtesy of the Library of Congress|
Born in Boston on January
17th, Benjamin Franklin was known to all as an exemplary member of the Founding
Fathers of our great nation. He
will be remembered as an inventor, scientist, statesman,
and economist. Most of all, he will be remembered for being a great man.
Many things we use today
are a result of experiments done by Ben Franklin to improve everyday
living. Bifocal lenses, the
Franklin stove, watertight bulkheads, and swim fins are just a few of the
inventions Ben came up with. He
also created the first odometer (a devise for measuring distance) so that he
could measure his postal routes when he worked as a postmaster. Ben Franklin also created something
called the "long arm", which is a tool with claws at the end used to grasp
things that are hard to reach.
Franklin was the first
person to conduct extensive research on electricity. In June 1752, he used a kite to prove lightning was a stream
of electrified air called plasma.
The study he did on lightning led him to develop the lightning rod to
protect people, especially on ships.
His studies encouraged others to follow suit.
As the only person to sign
all four documents that created the United States of America, Franklin was
quite a statesman. He signed The
Declaration of Independence in
1776, the Treaty of Alliance with
France in 1778, and the Treaty of Peace with England, France, and the United States in 1782. Most importantly, he signed The
Constitution in 1787.
By the age of 22, Franklin
owned and operated his own printing office. He published a newspaper called "The Pennsylvania Gazette,"
and was appointed the official printer of Pennsylvania. His annual publication, "Poor Richard's
Almanack," sold over 10,000 copies a year! For those of you who like good illustrations in your books,
you may find it interesting that Ben Franklin also came up with the idea of
using cartoons in his publications so that people who couldn't read would
understand the subject matter.
Franklin started the very
first public library with a lending program. Soon, the idea caught on, and it was even used by the upper
crust of colonial society.
Even though he played the
violin, harp, and guitar, Franklin managed to build his own instrument out of
glass called the Armonica.
Ben never wasted
time. He loved life, and will
always be known as one of America's great thinkers. His essay on why the rattlesnake should be a
symbol of our nation is very insightful.
Although it was signed by, "An American Guesser" it is now known that
Franklin wrote the piece himself.
He also thought that the turkey was better than the eagle as our
Franklin believed that
true wealth came from hard work and this became the heart and soul of the
"American Dream." The idea that
all people were created equal expanded and became our nation's catch
phrase. He used his printing skills
to print paper money and his face appears on the $100 bill we use today.
Find more information on Benjamin Franklin with help from Google.
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