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Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin – The first United States Postmaster General

Benjamin Franklin is an important American personality. A dynamic figure, he is not only remembered for his contribution to the American political sphere but is also regarded for his scientific contributions. Franklin was also a writer and a diplomat, among many other things. Know The Fact is here to tell you more about the great polymath and leading intellectual of his era, Benjamin Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin, sometimes also called “Ben Franklin,” was born on January 17, 1706. He is one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. Franklin helped in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and also signed it. He was an American representative in France during the American Revolution. He also served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. This great polymath was also the first United States Postmaster General. Franklin made significant contributions to science, especially toward understanding electricity. Benjamin Franklin is the only American Founding Father to have signed all four of the documents that established the U.S. The documents are the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Treaty of Alliance with France (1778), the Treaty of Paris establishing peace with Great Britain (1783), and the United States Constitution (1787).

Humble Beginnings
Franklin was born into a humble Boston family. His formal education ended when he was just 10. Nonetheless, Franklin was an ardent reader, and he became a self-taught, skilled writer. Franklin was apprenticed to his elder brother James, a Boston printer, in 1718. At 16, Franklin started contributing essays under the pen name Silence Dogood to a newspaper published by his brother. At 17, Franklin ran to Philadelphia. He found work as a printer there. In 1724, he left for London, England. He found a job in the printing business.

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin’s Printing and Publishing Business
In 1728, Franklin opened a printing shop in Philadelphia. The business was a huge success. He started producing a variety of materials, such as government pamphlets, books, and currency. In 1729, Franklin became the proprietor and distributor of the Pennsylvania Gazette. The newspaper became popular and Franklin contributed much of the content, often under different pen names. Franklin was again successful with “Poor Richard’s Almanack.” He published it every year from 1733 to 1758.

Benjamin Franklin’s contributions to Philadelphia
Franklin’s prospering printing business, he started contributing to civic affairs. In the 1730s, he helped in establishing several community organizations in Philadelphia, such as the lending library, Philadelphia’s first fire company, a police patrol and the American Philosophical Society.
Franklin played an important role in the creation of the Academy of Philadelphia in 1751, which later became known as the University of Pennsylvania in 1791.
Franklin worked as the Postmaster General of the American colonies under the British government but was laid off in 1774 as he was considered too sympathetic toward colonial interests.
In 1775, the Continental Congress made Franklin the first postmaster general of the United States. This gave him authority over all post offices in the United States until November 1776, when he was succeeded by his son-in-law.

Inventions by Benjamin Franklin
In 1748, Franklin retired as his printing business became so successful that he could stop working. In the 1740s, he conducted many experiments related to electricity. He invented the lightning rod, which helped to protect buildings from fires caused by lightning. In 1752, he conducted his well-known kite experiment, which demonstrated that lightning is electricity. Franklin also
came up with a number of electricity-related terms, such as battery, charge, and conductor. Apart from electricity, Franklin also studied other topics such as ocean currents, causes of the common cold, refrigeration, etc.

An Important Diplomat in France
In 1776, Franklin became a member of the five-member council that helped draft the Declaration of Independence. That year, he was also sent to France by the Congress to seek help for the Revolutionary War. In February 1778, the French allied with America against the British. France provided soldiers, supplies, and money that contributed to the American victory. Franklin is also credited with negotiating and drafting the 1783 Treaty of Paris that put an end to the Revolutionary War.

Benjamin Franklin’s Later Years and Death
In 1785, Franklin returned once again to Philadelphia. In 1787, he acted as a Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention. At the end of the convention, in September 1787, he encouraged other delegates to support the vigorously debated new document. The U.S. Constitution was finally endorsed by the nine states in June 1788. In April 1789, George Washington became the United States of America’s first president.
Franklin died aged 84 on April 17, 1790, in Philadelphia. In his will, he left money to Boston and Philadelphia. The money was later used to establish a trade school, a science museum, fund scholarships and other public projects. To honour the contributions of Benjamin Franklin, his image is printed on the $100 bill.

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