Ben Franklin Escapes Poverty

From 3 pennies to 10.3 billion dollars!

Benjamin's Background

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston on January 17, 1706. He was the fifteenth of Josiah's seventeen children in his family, so it was hard to for Ben to get himself noticed. Ben only got two years of education because at age ten he was forced to work in his dad's candle and soap full time. Ben's dad finally sent him to work at his brother's print shop at age 12 because Josiah heard Ben talking about heading for the ocean and was afraid he might actually do it. Ben was beat by his older brother James quite often, but he did learn a lot about how to operate the printing press and write articles. James didn't allow or publish Ben's articles into The New England Courant (picture above and to the right), James's news paper, so Ben entered all of his articles under the pseudonym Mrs. Silence Dogood. When James found out about this he was furious and gave Ben the worst beating he ever had. This caused Ben to run away at age 17 to Philadelphia, and that's where he lived for the rest of his life.

When Ben ran away to Philadelphia he only had three pennies and the talents from his printing career. He used all of his money to buy three loafs of bread. Ben had no money, family, or friends in Philadelphia and had to figure out how to use his talents to make his way in the world. He took loans from the few generous people that walked by, and with those loans he bought supplies and started up his very own printing business. Before long he was well known for being an honest and hardworking business man that would pay your loans back. On September first, 1730 Ben got married to Deborah Read whom he had met soon after arriving at Philadelphia. After their marriage Ben bought a bookstore to run and a small newspaper called "The Pennsylvania Gazette". By the time he was 42 Ben had enough money to retire and focus more on handling the politics of the American Revolution.

This was one of the first political cartoons ever made. It was made by none other than Benjamin Franklin.

Wisdom of Ages: Benjamin Franklin Quotes

Franklin's Feats

  • Figured out that lightning is a form of electricity.
  • Played 3 instruments and composed music.
  • Invented the lightning rod.
  • Started one of the first fire-fighting businesses.
  • Is a Founding Father of this country.
  • Invented bifocals.
  • Made the U.S.'s first free library.
  • Invented the fuel and heat efficient Franklin Stove.
  • Made the "13 Virtues" list (shown below).
  • Followed his "13 Virtues" list for until he died (64 years).

Life Lessons With Ben

If there's anything that we can learn from Ben Franklin's life, it's that we shouldn't hide our talents or waste time. We should instead use our talents to lead a fulfilling and productive life.
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