Benjamin Franklin Biography
Inventor of Bifocals, Lightning Rod, Glass Armonica, Library Chair, Swim Fins, The Long Reach Device, Catheter
Posted on July 29, 2010 by Jamie Slaughter, with 9319 views
Benjamin Franklin, (1706 - 1970), was a newspaperman, scientist, philosopher, inventor and diplomat. Growing up in Boston, Franklin began an apprenticeship with his brother James in the newspaper field, and soon began to offer essays to the newspaper under a variety of aliases.
When he was 17, Franklin moved to Philadelphia to launch his very own newspaper named the Pennsylvania Gazette. This newspaper became the most successful newspaper in the region. He soon founded the American Philosophical Society, which eventually evolved into the University of Pennsylvania. He created one of his first inventions, a heat efficient stove to warm houses, in 1973, and retired from newspapering in 1748 to focus exclusively on electricity. This included his famous kite experiment to determine the existence and characteristics of both electricity and lightning.
Franklin travelled to England in 1757, to represent the colony in its battle with the descendants of William Penn. He stayed there until 1775, becoming increasingly more disenchanted with England's politics, so returned to America proclaiming he was in favour of independence. This shocked his son, William, the royal governor of New Jersey, who became a loyalist.
In 1776, Franklin teamed up with Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence, before becoming an ambassador to the court of Louis XVI. Franklin played a pivotal role in helping the Revolution avoiding bankruptcy. He also successfully negotiated a treaty with his persuasive manner. Returning to America in 1784, Franklin performed one final public act, the signing of the abolition of slavery, which he signed shortly before he died. This selfish final act is one which sums up the mature and sophisticated Franklin who many people do not remember with the respect he deserved.