Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

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Benjamin Franklin

In his many careers as a printer, moralist, essaylist, civic
leader, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, and
philosopher, Benjamin Franklin Became both a spokesman
and a model for the national character of later generations
of Americans. After less than two years of formal
schooling, Franklin was pressed into his father's trade. At
the age of 16, Franklin wrote some pieces in a
courant,"Silence Dogwood." Though penniless and
unknown, Franklin soon found a job as a printer. Aafter a
year he went to England, where he became a master
printer, sowed some wild oats, astonished Londoners with
his swimming feats, and lived among the famous writers of
London. In 17227, Franklin began his career as a civic
leader by organizing a club of aspiring tradesmen called the
JJunto, which met each week for discussion and planning.

Franklin began yet another career when in 1740 he
invented the Pennsylvania fireplace, later called the Franklin
stove, which soon heated buildings all over Europe and
North America. He also read treaties on electricity and and
began a series of experiments with his friends in
Philadelphia. Experiments he proposed, first tried in France
in 1752, showed that lightning was in fact a form of el!
ectricity. Later that year his famous kite experiment, in
which he flew a kite with the wire attached to a key during
a thunderstorm. His later achievements included formulating
a theory of heat absorption, measuring Gulf Stream,
designing ships, tracking storm paths, and inventing bifocal
lenses. In 1751, Franklin was elected to the Pennsylvania
Assembly, causing the beginning of nearly 40 years as a
puublic official. At home from 1762 to 1764, Franklin
traveled throghout the colonies, reorganizing the
AAmerican postal system. He also built aa new house on
Market Street in Philadelphia, now reconstructed and open
to visitors, and otherwise provided for his family. From
April 1775 to October 1776, Franklin served on the
Pennsylvania Committee of Safety and in the Continental
Congress, submitted articles of confederation for the united
colonies, proposed a new constitution for Pennsylvania,
and helped draft the Decclaration of Independence.

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