(Boston, 1706 – Philadelphia, 1790) American politician, scientist, and inventor. Studios of electricity, inventor of lightning rods and other useful artifacts.
The only American of the British colonial era who achieved fame and notoriety in Europe.
He was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston. He worked helping his father at the cherry shop on his property.
At thirteen years old he was apprenticed at his brother’s printing house. From 1721 he collaborated with his brother James in the writing and editing of the New England Courant.
He moved to Philadelphia in October 1723 and met William Keith, Governor of Pennsylvania, who advised him to travel to Great Britain to complete his training as a printer and buy the necessary equipment to found his own printing press in Philadelphia.
He arrived in London in December 1724 and found employment at two of London’s leading printing presses, Palmer’s and Watt’s.
In 1736 he was part of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania and the following year he was appointed an administrator of the Philadelphia Post Office.
He also organized the first fire insurance company in the city and introduced methods to improve the paving and lighting of the streets.
Experiments on Electricity
In 1747 he began his experiments on electricity. He advanced a possible theory of the Leyden bottle, defended the hypothesis that storms are an electrical phenomenon and proposed an effective method to prove it.
In 1748 he sold his printing press and in 1750 he was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly, where he served until 1764.
He was appointed Inspector General of the Post Office for the British colonies in America in 1753 and, in 1754, was a delegate of Pennsylvania in the Congress of Albany, which was held to discuss the attitude that should be maintained before the French and Indian War.
His Plan Albany, which anticipated in many respects the United States Constitution of 1787, defended local independence within the framework of colonial union.
When the French and Indian War broke out, Franklin provided supplies to British Captain General Edward Braddock, guaranteeing his own credit to the Pennsylvania farmers, who from that moment provided the necessary equipment.
In 1757 he was sent to England by the Pennsylvania Assembly to petition the king for the right to collect taxes for the ownership of the land.
At the end of his mission, he remained five years in the country as the first representative of the American colonies.
When he returned to Philadelphia on May 5, 1775, the battles of Lexington and Concord had unleashed the contest.
He is elected a member of the second Continental Congress, serving on ten of its committees.
In 1775 Franklin traveled to Canada to get his support and cooperation in the war in favor of the colonies.
Upon his return, he was one of the five members of the committee appointed to draft the Declaration of Independence.
In September of the same year, he was elected as a delegate to obtain economic aid from France.
He helped materially the American corsairs who operated against the British Navy, especially John Paul Jones.
On February 6, 1778, he negotiated the trade and friendship treaties with France and Spain that later changed the course of the war.
Seven months later he was appointed by the Congress as the plenipotentiary minister of the United States in France.
In 1781, Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay were appointed to conclude a peace treaty with Great Britain.
The Treaty of Paris, which ended the war, was signed at Versailles on September 3, 1783.
His fame as a scientist helped him to be chosen by the French monarch Louis XVI to investigate the findings of the Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer and the phenomenon of animal magnetism.
In March 1785 he resigned his post in France to return to Philadelphia, where he was immediately elected president of the Executive Council of Philadelphia (1785-1787).
Benjamin Franklin died on April 17, 1790 in Philadelphia.
Benjamin Franklin’s Electricity Experiments
Explores how Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite experiment worked.
- Franklin was one of the first characters to call for the abolition of slavery in the United States.
- His success as a printer allowed Benjamin Franklin to retire at the age of 42 to devote himself completely to his scientific and political interests.
- Franklin invented bifocals and lightning rods; He also mapped the course of the Gulf Stream.
- In 1752, Franklin conducted his famous experiment with a kite, proving that lightning was an electrical phenomenon.
- Franklin was born on a Sunday. In the times of the Puritans being born on Sunday was a sign of sin. To erase all evil, Benjamin’s father had him baptized the same day of his birth.
- When Benjamin Franklin was 16, he experimented with vegetarianism as a way to save enough to buy books.
- At the age of 70, Benjamin Franklin was the oldest delegate to sign the Declaration of
- Independence on July 4, 1776.
- Benjamin’s son, William Franklin, always refused to support his father’s cause for the independence of the United States. After the end of independence, he went to live in England where he never returned.
Quotes BENJAMÍN FRANKLIN
- “Do you love life? Do not waste time because it’s the substance it’s made of.”
- “He who loves himself has no rival.”
- “Lacking own books is the height of misery.”
- “He who believes that money can do everything can be suspected with a foundation that he will be able to do anything for money.”
- “Tell me and I forget it, teach me and I remember it, involve me and I learn it.”
- “The heart of a fool is in the mouth, but the mouth of the wise is in the heart.”
- “In this world there are only two safe things: death and paying taxes.”
- “Bed without supper is better to get up in debt”.
- “Investing in knowledge always produces the best benefits.”
- “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants our happiness.”
- “Constancy gets the most difficult things in a short time.”
- “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat … Freedom is a well-armed lamb rebelling the vote!”
A great book I recommend is this.
- Jessica Gunderson
- Publisher: Compass Point Books