Ben Franklin's Life
Born into a large family, Benjamin Franklin was the 15th child of 17 children. Born and raised in what was then known as Massachusetts Bay Colony, where he attended Latin School and learned at an early age how to read. At the age of ten Franklin dropped out of formal school and began working full-time in his father's candle and soap shop, then at the age of twelve he became an apprentice of his older brother James in his print shop. During his time as his brother's apprentice, Ben learned a great deal about newspaper publishing and adopted a similar brand of subversive politics, while being mistreated by his older brother. Despite being frequently beaten by his older brother, Ben did learn many new skills under a printer's tutelage. Upon presenting his older brother with several pieces of his writing, James refused to publish any of them, this caused Ben to publish fourteen letters in James' newspaper without his older brother's consent. This infuriated his brother, which caused Ben to abandon Boston to escape his brother's "harsh and tyrannical" behavior. Franklin then settled down in Philadelphia, where he once again found work as a printer and published hi first pamphlet, "A Dissertation upon Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain."
Ben Franklin's Inventions
- Bifocals- Used for working close distance and observing from far away, Franklin invented the "double spectacles so two pairs of glasses were not necessary. Franklin had his optician take the lenses from his two sets of glasses, cut the lenses in two horizontally, and then mount them back into spectacles, with lenses for up-close improvement on top, and lenses for long distance improvement on the bottom
- Swim fins- For the improvement of speed in the water, Franklin devised fins that he wore on his hands. The fins were shaped like lily pads or a artist's paint pallet and helped the swimmer attain greater speed with each stroke.
- Lightning rod- What Franklin called his most important invention, he succeeded in developing a solution to the destruction of several buildings with a metal rod attached to a high point of a building. A metal wire or cable ran from the rod, down the side of the building, and into the ground. When lightning struck, the electricity ran down the rod cable and into the ground, preventing damage to the building. The invention was then perfected three years later by Franklin himself