Report by Michael
Who was he? He was a printer, statesman and an inventor/scientist!
Ben Franklin only went to school
for two years but educated himself through reading. He loved to read, and
at 12 he went to work for his brother, James Paper, as an apprentice
printer. He also started to write articles anonymously, and people really
liked them. After a lot of experience as a printer he bought a failing
paper, called “The Pennsylvania
Gazette,” and made it a thriving one. Ben then wrote and published
the Poor Richard’s Almanac, which became a best seller. Ben loved to
read, but books were expensive so he helped to open a lending library so
everyone could get books at no cost. Later he became the official printer
of Pennsylvania where he printed money, laws, and documents. He even wrote
a comic called Join, or Die. Later, others
also used him as a printer. At 42 he retired from printing to try other
When Ben lived, America was made up
of thirteen colonies ruled by England, and he was elected to the Pennsylvania
Assembly in 1750.
During that time, war broke out
between the British and the French in America, and Benjamin Franklin
helped the British. He supplied them with wagons, horses, and essential
goods. So in 1757 he went to London representing the colonies, to talk to
the king about taxes. He stayed there for a few years, and went back and
forth to England often. Finally the colonies went to war against England
because of the Stamp, Townshend, and Intolerable Act in 1775. Ben helped to draft
and sign The Declaration on
Independence. In 1778 he signed the Treaty or Alliance with France,
which secured troops and provisions for the colonists. When America won
it’s independence he helped negotiate peace with Britain, and signed the
Treaty of Peace with Great Britain in 1782.
colonist were now independent
and needed to decide what type of government they should have and Ben, at
age 81, was the oldest delegate at the Constitutional Convention, where
the Constitution was signed on Sept. 17, 1787.
Benjamin Franklin became the only founding father to sign all five
documents that made America independent: The
Declaration of Independence, The Treaty of Amity and Commerce with France,
The Treaty of Alliance with France, The Treaty of Peace with Great
Britain, and The Constitution of the United States of America.
And now for the cool stuff! ....
Did you know that Benjamin Franklin
was an inventor? Ben was most
known as the “inventor” of electricity from the kite experiment. But!
......he didn’t actually invent electricity, he just defined some of the
properties of electricity.
He did invent many things, such as
the Franklin Stove, bifocals, swim fins, watertight bulkheads, a glass
armonica, the rocking chair and the street lamp just to name a few.
And! He charted the Gulf Stream
during his numerous trips across the Atlantic Ocean!
While Ben Franklin became most
known for his inventions, he gave them freely to the world so that
everyone could benefit from them.
The great idea finder. "Benjamin Franklin: Fascinating Facts." at <http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventors/franklin.htm> (January 2003).
Robert Ripley. "Inventors Museum/Benjamin Franklin." at <http://inventorsmuseum.com/benjamin-franklin.htm> (January, 2003).
World Book Online. "Franklin, Benjamin." at <http://www.worldbookonline.com>.
Images of political Ben and kite Ben from "Microsoft Office Design Gallery Live" <http://dgl.microsoft.com/?CAG=1> Images free for non-profit and personal use. (December-March, 2003).
Images of Ben and snake from "ArtToday.com" <http://members.clipart.com/en/index> (2003).
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