Inventors are inspirational. Ben Franklin was an inventor, author, printer, politician, freemason, scientist, and civic activist. He was the Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly, the United States Postmaster General, The United States Minister to France and for a time the United States Minister to Sweden, and then the President (essentially Governor) of Pennsylvania. Ben Franklin is remembered as a Founding Father of the United States. While he was never President, he influenced founding documents and signed both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.
Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 17, 1706. His father had seventeen children, however he was one of ten born to his father’s second wife. His parents saw a career in the church for him, however at 12 he became an apprentice to his brother James and learned the printing trade. At 15, he took on a pseudonym and began writing for the newspaper his brother founded, The New-England Courant. At the age of 17, Ben moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1727, he started Junto, a group of aspiring artisans and tradesman who wanted to better themselves and their community. Due to being voracious readers they began what became the Library Company of Philadelphia. Franklin did the charter in 1731. In 1732, the first American librarian was hired, and today the Library Company is a research library.
In 1729, Franklin began publishing the newspaper The Pennsylvania Gazette. He published other writings as well and began instructing readers on moral virtue. In 1733, he began to publish Poor Richard’s Almanack. He became a freemason in the local Masonic lodge in 1731. Before this, in 1730, he established a common-law marriage with Deborah Reed. They raised his son William and had two children of their own. Deborah died of a stroke in 1774 while Ben was in England. William and Ben disagreed about the American Revolutionary War.
Benjamin Franklin invented many things including the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove. Social innovations are known to have started or been strengthened with him as well. Volunteerism and paying it forward are things he advocated. In 1736, Ben started the Union Fire Company which was one of the first volunteer firefighting companies in America. The Academy, Charity School, and College of Philadelphia, of which Franklin had been appointed president, opened in 1751. Also that year, Ben and a partner opened Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital in what became the United States.
During his life and his many ventures, Benjamin Franklin believed in working on himself and his character. He believes in the following 13 virtues: Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity, and Humility. These led to his work as an abolitionist and many other things. He is remembered and honored in many ways. Places, exhibitions, and items are devoted to him. Be inspired! Have a bright day!