Benjamin Franklin Trivia

portarit of Ben FranklinThere are few people in history who can claim to have done as many things as Benjamin Franklin. The man had almost no schooling and yet went on to become one of the most recognized and admired people in American history. He achieved success in many different areas including, politics, writing and science. His list of achievements cover everything from signing The declaration of Independence to inventing many items which are still in use today.

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17th 1706, in Boston, Massachusetts. Ben was one of 17 children.

Ben’s father was unable to afford to send Ben to school for more than a year.

Benjamin designed a stove with a grill on the top which allowed people to both cook and heat their homes. The stove is commonly referred to as a Franklin Stove.

Benjamin’s father did not want him to go to sea, so instead he had Benjamin work as an apprentice printer for his brother James. Benjamin stated that his brother’s treatment of him was both harsh and tyrannical. He ran away in 1723 and made his way to Philadelphia. Ben had only three cents and one schilling when he arrived in the city.

When Benjamin Franklin was fifteen he wrote articles under a pseudonym in his brother’s paper, The New England Courant. He used the name of Silence Dogood. Benjamin confessed to his brother, James, after 16 letters that he was the author of the articles.

Benjamin invented the lightening rod and preformed various experiments with electricity. His most famous electricity experiment, which he conducted with his son, used a key on a kite string.

Benjamin had an illegitimate son named William. The mother of this child is still unknown. Benjamin and his wife Deborah took the boy in and raised him.

Benjamin bought a newspaper in 1729. The Pennsylvania Gazette was one of the first papers to print cartoons.

In 1733, Benjamin began printing his famous poor man’s almanac. He published the almanac under the name Richard Saunders.

Benjamin and his wife Deborah had two children. They also raised Benjamin’s son William.

When Benjamin was a teenager he wanted to save his money to buy more books so he tried being a vegetarian.

At the age of 70, Benjamin was the oldest person to sign The Declaration of Independence.

Many people do not realize that Benjamin had musical talent. He played both the guitar and harp. Benjamin invented a mechanical glass harmonica which he called an armonica.

Benjamin invented bifocal glasses and swim fins.

To measure the distance covered while doing postal rounds Benjamin invented a simple odometer.

Benjamin did not like to take put patents on his inventions. He believed that his inventions should be used to better all of society.

Benjamin became the first Postmaster General in 1775. He established a system where the rates were based on weight and distance. He also set up a system of mile markers between cities, which allowed the mail to travel faster.

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