Ben Franklin

The Talented Genius of the 18th Century by Ryan Lee

Part One: Life

A boy was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 17, 1706. This boy was named Benjamin Franklin, and he would grow up to be one of the most influential people in history. As a young boy, Ben became an apprentice for his father, Josiah, and his brother, James, right after two years of formal schooling. (His father did not have enough money to support his entire educational adventure.) He later grew up to marry Deborah Read, and set up his own printing company, The Pennsylvania Gazette. He supported the cause against Great Britain, and the colonies' unfair treatment. He became one of the most well known founding fathers, and he actively went against British rule over the colonies, and stayed a patriot until the day he died, which was on April 17, 1790. He edited the Declaration of Independence himself, and changed the world. Overall, he was a real contribution to our world.

Part Two: Inventions

In his entire lifetime, Ben Franklin made many monumental invention, that some are still used today. (Down below is an accessible video that you can see some inventions) But Ben Franklin was more famous for his discovery in the science of electricity. This included inventing the lightning rod (1749) which would take in lightning, and divert it to the ground instead of letting lightning burn down buildings. He also made the well known bifocals (1784), which was glasses with two glass parts. The top half of glass would be used to see in the distance, while the bottom section was used for close up activities such as reading. This prevented people from switching between two types of glasses every single time they tried to complete a task. His other famous invention was called the Franklin Stove (1742). Back then, wood was used as fuel for the fire, and the fireplace let out heat for only a limited amount of time and space where the heat could reach. But the Franklin Stove fixed all of that. The heat source would last longer, and the heat of the fireplace would be diverted to all places in the household. The lists can go on and on, as he created the first original musical instrument in America called the glass armonica (1761), and made the first flippers to propel farther distances into water. It is even true that Benjamin Franklin created the first ever political cartoons. It is also true that he made the first firefighting station (1736) in America, along with the first public library (1727) and hospital (1751 with the help of Dr. Thomas Bond)

5 Amazing Inventions by Benjamin Franklin

Part Three: Jobs

In his entire life, Ben was a multi-talented man who struck at different jobs at different times. When he was little, he became an apprentice. Then he created his own business, then during the Revolution, he worked as a diplomat, statesman. He wrote many books later on. He was an inventor of many machines and crafts

Part Four: During the Revolution

Even before the Revolution, Ben was obviously displeased with the rule of the British. He created many political cartoons dissing the British, and spoke out against the unfair and harmful treatment. Though Ben was an active participant during the war, he did not serve on the front lines. Rather than fighting the bloody battles against Britain, he served as a diplomat for America. Even though the Americans were fighting in their home, the British were far ore advanced. The Americans were in a pickle, and needed more allies if they wanted to gain freedom. When he visited France for support in the war, the French were appalled. They had never seen such an accomplished man. With his coonskin at, and his simple manner, the French saw Ben as a perfect example of a humble American, and the revolutionaries gained the allies that they were looking for.

Ben also served as a politician as well. When Thomas Jefferson drafted the declaration of Independence, Ben Franklin edited and revised it, but he was pretty much content with the document. Surprisingly, he even helped to draft the American Constitution as well, which pointed out the main rules of America.

Part Five: Major Discovery

Even with all of Ben Franklin's famous discoveries, perhaps one of his most famous and well known accomplishment was him proving that electricity was a form of energy. In the year 1746, Ben Franklin shocked himself multiple times trying to conduct electrical experiments. After that, he tried harder and harder each time to prove the theory. Back then, no one had the power to harness electricity in many forms. Lightning bolts were unpredictable and dangerous. They could set buildings on fire, and cause many dangerous incidents. Many feared electricity, but Ben stood up to the task. On a day in May, 1752, Ben Franklin went out with one of his sons, and flew a kite with a conductive string with a key and a Leyden jar at the end. Though there was no visible lightning that hit the kite, Ben noted that the stings of the kite were repelling, and he deduced that the Leyden jar was being charged. (If the kite was hit with visible lightning, Ben would have been electrocuted.) He later published an article about his findings, and the discoveries revolutionized the world of electricity. Scientists made new technologies and advanced the science world. Ironically, Ben's house was struck by lightning, but his own creation, the lightning rod, saved his life.

Part Six: Legacy

When Ben died on April 17th, 1790 of old age (84, which is long for his time), he still had his children to succeed him. He had his two sons, Francis and William, and one daughter, Sarah. However, William got in trouble with betrayals, and none continued the family line of Ben Franklin. He has no known scion, but he left an impressive dent in our world. Many monuments and places have been dedicated or named after him, and his scientific discoveries have evolved into modern technology that we gratefully take in everyday. For example, the Franklin Stove could've turned into indoor heating, and bifocals still exist today, to help people see and read at the same time. Potential deaths have been prevented thanks to the famous lightning rod. He will be remembered throughout history as a brilliant man who stopped at nothing to get involved enough to help people for the greater good. He inspired and influenced many people today and in the past to work hard and make the Earth a better place to live in. Like he said, "Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me, and I learn."


Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin

Fradin, Dennis Brindell Who was Ben Franklin? New York: Grosset&Dunlap, 2002