Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)

Benjamin Franklin

1706 Benjamin Franklin was born at Boston, USA, on the 17th of January; his father, Josiah, was a soap and candles manufacturer. Benjamin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A renowned polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions.

1716 Being 10 years old, he started to help his father to the candle shop cutting them. Even if he went to school only two years he read a lot in his free time. He also liked swimming, one of his inventions being a device that helped him swim faster.

1718 When he was 12 year-olds he began to work as an apprentice to his brother’s, James’, typography. Every night he studied classical writers and those of his times but also arithmetic, grammar and navigation.

After a while he became an expert of journalism and typography. He wrote secretly several humoristic letters that he sent to gazette under the name of “Mrs. Silence Dogood” in which he had fun of students from Harvard and of untalented poets.

1728 When Franklin was 22 years old he founded his first printing workshop together with a partner, Hugh Meredith. The two men published a weekly paper called “The Pennsylvania Gazzette”.

1730 Franklin married Deborah Read and they had three children.

1752 He realized that levin is an electrical discharge from the clouds. Being helped by his son William, Franklin did an experiment in which he tested this phenomenon. They went on a field during a storm, they flew a kite and they drew the electrical charge by a key.

1753 Benjamin was also a practical man, not only a good theorist inventing the lighting rod in order to defend the buildings of lighting.

1756 He was elected member of Royal Society and got “Copley Medal” after doing many experiments and publishing a book about electricity. Modern Electricity Theory is based on his principles. He sent the results of his work to some scientists from England and France; these were so impressed that elected his member of the above mentioned society.

1773 He was elected one of the eight foreign shareholders of Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris. He organized the first library in America, invented more things and amazed some scientists all over the world by his experiences regarding electricity.

In that time he was also known in Europe because he convinced English people to cancel “Stamp Law” and also convinced French people to get implied in War of Independence. In the USA he contributed to Declaration of Independence and to Constitution.

1790 Benjamin Franklin died being 84 years old on the 17th of April and was buried near his wife in the cemetery of Christian Church in Philadelphia.



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