Benjamin Franklin

Biography of Benjamin Franklin
JOSEPH DUPLESSIS - Public domain

Benjamin Franklin Biography

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston (Commonwealth of Massachusetts) on January 17, 1706. Franklin was an American politician, scientist, and inventor; student of electricity and considered one of the founding fathers of the United States.

Benjamin, son of Josiah Franklin with his second wife Abiah Folger, was the fifteenth son of 17 brothers. He worked with his father helping him in the wax-chandler’s shop in which they would make candles and soaps. He also worked in other jobs such as carpenter, bricklayer, and turner. At the age of 12, he was an apprentice in his brother’s printing press and where Benjamin would write two poems: The Lighthouse tragedy and The Decemberists.

In 1723, Franklin would travel to Philadelphia where he would settle down working in a printing press, then in 1725, he traveled to England in order to complete his training as a printer at the printing company Palmer, where he later published: “Dissertation on liberty and necessity.”

On October 11, 1726, he returned to Philadelphia, began working as an administrative officer for Denham. Years later after recovering from pleurisy, he founded with his partner Meredith the first printing company of his property. In 1729 he bought the newspaper “Pennsylvania Gazette” which he announced until 1748.

“Tell me and I forget it, teach me and I remember it, involve me and I learn it.” Benjamin Franklin

In 1730, he would marry Deborah Read with whom would have three children:  William (1731), Francis (1733) and Sarah (1743). He also published “Poor Richard’s Almanack” in 1739 and oversaw issuing paper money in the British Hills of America in the year of 1727.

Throughout his life, Benjamin was a restless man with great influence in the sciences and in American society, some of his most outstanding contributions are:

  • 1731 Contributed to the founding of the first public library in Philadelphia.
  • 1736 He founded the “Union Fire Company” first Philadelphia Fire Department.
  • 1749 He participated in the founding of the University of Pennsylvania and the first hospital in the city.
  • 1743 Go to New Jersey, New York, and New England, in order to study and improve the United States Postal Service.

In the middle of the 18th century, he became interested in scientific subjects and coincided with the initiation of his political life.

In 1743 he was elected President of the American Philosophical Society.

1747: He devoted himself to studying electrical phenomena and enunciated the principle of conservation of electricity. From his studies is born his most outstanding work, “Experiments and observations on electricity.”

In 1752, in Philadelphia, he would carry out his famous experiment with the kite and thanks to this experiment he created his most famous invented, the lightning rod (The first model is known as “Lightning Rod Franklin”). In addition, he invented the so-called “Franklin Furnace” or “Pennsylvania Fireplace”.

In 1736, Benjamin Franklin entered politics for the first time, and that same year he was elected to the General Assembly of Philadelphia. 11 years later, he would organize the first volunteer militia to defend Pennsylvania. He was appointed a member of the negotiating committee with the Native Indians in 1749.

Franklin was an active participant in the process of the Independence of the “United States”, traveled to London as a representative in charge of interceding for the interests of Pennsylvania.

One of his greatest contributions was undoubted, his active intervention in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, in a constant and intense work in which he helped Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

Benjamin Franklin was a public man, honest and efficient. He was the most beloved character of his time in the country and the only American of the British Colonial era who achieved fame in Europe.

Finally, at 84 years of age, he died on April 17, 1790, at the age of 84, in Philadelphia, United States.

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