The Legend of Ben Franklin

The LegendBen Franklin was born January 17, 1706 in Boston Massachusetts. His had an extraordinary life from the start. Franklin was born the tenth and youngest son. He was the youngest son of the youngest son for five generations back.

Ben Franklin learned his trade as a printer from his older brother James at the age of twelve. In 1721 James started his own newspaper, the New England Conrant. It was the fourth newspaper of the colonies. The years working at the Conrant were extremely important for young Ben’s future.

Franklin moved to Philadelphia in 1723. There he met William Kieth. Kieth sent Franklin to England to research and obtain more modern printing equipment. Upon his return to Philadelphia in 1726, Franklin had become hungry to open his own printing business.

By July of 1730, Ben Franklin was sole owner of the printing company publishing the “Pennsylvania Gazette”.

In September of 1730, he married Deborah Read who remained his life long partner.

One of Franklin’s most notable works was his publishing of Poor Richards Almanac. This was to become the best known almanac of the new world. It was through this publication that Franklin would meet many politicians and other influential people.

Franklin was also an astute observer of nature. On an early transatlantic voyage, he kept accurate data of temperature and the position of the moon and stars. With this information he published an early map of the Gulf Stream.

His main interest soon became electricity. His famous kite experiment in 1752 demonstrated the identity of electricity and lightning, soon giving him an international reputation. His experiments with lightning gave Franklin the idea of the lightning rod, which he later invented.

Franklin was responsible for naming the “concept of polarity”, noting it as negative and positive, to describe the behavior of electricity. With his experiments and theories, Franklin was considered by many as the father of electricity.

At the time of his death on April 17, 1790, Franklin had helped shape most of the important political, social and intellectual developments of eighteenth century America.

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