Benjamin Franklin

(1706-1790)

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Ben's Life

Benjamin Franklin grew up with seven siblings, his family came from little to no money so his success made him a self-made man. By twenty-four, he was a publisher of the Philadelphia Gazette, owner of a successful print shop, and a prosperous merchant. Benjamin Franklin retired from his business at forty-one, but continued his work in politics and work in the society. Eventually when he was sixty-eight he was an american diplomat trying to communicate peace between America and Britain but because both countries were going to war, the idea of peace wasn’t really coming across to Britain.

Inventions

Benjamin Franklin created a radial arrangement of glasses in 1761, called the Glass Harmonica. This instrument is constructed of glass bowls, glasses and goblets. The Harmonica is spun and pressed on, to make musical tones. He also invented the lightning rod, a rod mounted to the top of a building that runs down the side. This rod is then struck into the ground. Lightning rods are made out of metal and attract the lightning, then the rod runs into the ground and lets the electrical charge disperse through the ground and not the top of your house, preventing damage and fires.

Contributions to American Civilization

Benjamin Franklin was greeted to a position second to George Washington when he returned home. This position was titled the Champion of American Independence. In 1787, Benjamin served as a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention. He held an honorary position and seldom engaged in debate. He is the only Founding Father who is a signatory of all four of the major documents of the founding of the United States: the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance, with France, the Treaty of Paris and the United States Constitution.

Poor Richard's Almanac

The Poor Richard’s Almanac was published by Benjamin Franklin in 1732 and was in publication until 1758. Ben Franklin adopted the pseudonym “Poor Richard” or “Richard Saunders”. His almanac printed close to ten thousand copies each year. His almanac as so influential, Napoleon Bonaparte translated it to Italian.