Benjamin Franklin is a well known historical figure who was influential in many areas. Along with begin one of the founding fathers of the United States of America, Benjamin Franklin was also an author, inventor, scientist, musician and diplomat. He had a number of political seats and was the US embassy to France and Sweden. He is honored in the United States on coins and notes and many influential educational institutions are named after this amazing founding father. Benjamin Franklin led a full and active life. Here are some of the interesting facts about that life.
Interesting Facts about Benjamin Franklin
- He earned the title of the “First American” for his political campaign promoting colonial unity. He is highly recognized as having considerable influence over the formation of the nation of America.
- Benjamin Franklin was the 15th of 17 children.
- He took an apprenticeship under his older brother James who was a printer.
- When his brother established the first newspaper in Boston, Benjamin began writing pieces for the paper as Silence Dogood; an alias.
- Benjamin Franklin founded the first public library. Due to his love of books, which were quite expensive, he conceived and proposed the idea of a subscription library. The Library Company is now a great scholarly and research library with 500,000 rare books, pamphlets, and broadsides, more than 160,000 manuscripts, and 75,000 graphic items.
- Benjamin Franklin was part of the Masonic Lodge and was Grand Master in 1734. He was the first to edit and publish the Masonic book in the Americas, a reprint of James Anderson’s “Constitutions of the Free-Masons.”
- Benjamin Franklin had an illegitimate son named William. Franklin had two other children to his wife Deborah Reed, Francis Folger Franklin who died of smallpox and Sarah Franklin.
- Benjamin Franklin continued to write under pseudonyms and gained a reputation as an accomplished author and his book “Father Abraham’s Sermon”, also known as “The Way to Wealth,” and his autobiography are considered classic works of literature today.
- Many of Franklins proverbs are still is use today such as, “A penny saved is twopence dear” (often misquoted as “A penny saved is a penny earned”) and “Fish and visitors stink in three days.”
- Benjamin Franklin also invented many things such as the lightning rod, glass armonica, Franklin stove, bifocal glasses and the flexible urinary catheter.
- His most famous scientific discoveries by far related to electricity and he was the first to use the words positive and negative to describe electrical charge.
- Both Harvard and Yale University awarded him honorary degrees. In 1762, the Oxford University honored him with a doctorate.
- Benjamin Franklin is well known for an experiment in which he flew a kite in a lightning storm to prove the electrical nature of lightning.