Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, in Milk Street, Boston, Massachusetts as the son of Josiah Franklin (born in England) and Abiah Folger (born in Nantucket, Massachusetts). He was born within a puritanical family that had migrated from England.
He started his studies at the Boston Latin School, and even though he did not graduate, he was an avid reader. He began working when he was 10 years old in various jobs such as the creation of soaps and candles in his father's factory, in the navy, in carpentry, and as a bricklayer.
At age 12, he learned the trade of his older brother, James in his printing press. At age 15, his brother James founded the American newspaper, The New-England Courant but was denied the possibility of publishing his work, so he began to write with a pseudonym and then, his writings were published.
Benjamin Franklin became a successful publisher in Philadelphia at the age of 23 with the publication of the Pennsylvania Gazette, and later, would be associated with the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper known for its revolutionary ideas and criticism of the British policy.
Franklin became a hero in the Thirteen Colonies when he led an effort for the British Parliament to reject the unpopular Seal Law. Franklin was also a diplomat, admired among the French as an American minister in Paris, and was prominent in the development of Franco-American relations figure, which proved vital for obtaining crucial shipments during the American Revolution.
Benjamin Franklin Inventions
One of the many inventions of Benjamin Franklin was the lightning rod. The lightning rod was quickly installed throughout the country and was a commercial success, but it was not the only creation of this prominent inventive soul.
The inventions of Franklin were diverse and many such as:
The Crystal Harmonica: It was constituted by a number of glass plates aligned and crossed by an axis. With a pedal that rotates them while playing with the wet hand, the instrument records four octaves.
The Franklin Stove: It was an iron stove that produced more heat and less smoke than an ordinary open heater.
The Bifocal Glasses: These are glasses that have two different optical powers in the same lens and that are usually used by people with myopia.
The Flexible Urinary Catheter: This is a small tube that is inserted into the patient's bladder through his/her urethra that allows the patient to urinate freely without any obstructions.
As mentioned above, Benjamin Franklin invented an iron stove with high efficiency and lower consumption, together with bifocal lenses. He was also an expert musician and instrumentalist and wrote about the problems of musical composition, in particular, about the adaptation of music to the lyrics so that the latter could be intelligible.
A detailed account of his findings would be endless and exhausting since his creative capacity and his sense of anticipation were absolutely extraordinary. These innovations are enough evidence of his creative genius and show exactly why he is so popular even today.
Why Benjamin Franklin is considered a Superhero?
Franklin is considered to be a superhero for a number of reasons. Let us check some of them out!
1. Franklin was a spectacular swimmer and advocated the myriad benefits of the sport very early on. He also invented the popular swim fins that were attached to the swimmer’s hands unlike the foot flippers of today.
2. Franklin and The Kite was an oil painting by Benjamin Franklin that shows Franklin's experiment to show that lightning is an electrical phenomenon. In this context, he invented the lightning rod that evaded the threat of huge urban fires for colonial Americans.
3. When Franklin was not busy saving the world, he printed for the Pennsylvania Gazette and regularly contributed to the publication.
4. Franklin also wrote under countless pseudonyms and had multiple alter-egos. Silence Dogwood was one of his many aliases whose name regularly graced Poor Richard’s Almanack, Franklin’s annual in the mid-18th century.
5. Franklin was also an avid sailor and undertook several voyages between North America and Europe. During this time, he observed a weather pattern of sorts. This observation was vital for the world’s modern understanding of weather patterns and ocean currents.
6. Just like your good old superhero, Franklin fulfilled one of the major tasks of being a superhero - saving lives. He was a major influence in the founding of America’s very first hospital in the 1750s. The Pennsylvania Hospital is still functional in Philadelphia today.
7. Franklin was a consummate dresser and knew his costumes well. One of the first and foremost reasons why the French finally came to the support of the United States of America was because of his iconic fur hat in Paris. This eventually led to the victory of the country in the Revolutionary War.
8. Another superhero act that Franklin could do easily was control fire. Benjamin Franklin was a part of many crucial civic institutions during his time. He was also responsible for bringing together the very first firefighting groups worldwide in Philadelphia known as The Union Fire Company.
9. He also used his pen as a sword and has many dedicated political writings to his credit that led to him being known as a very trusted voice during the Declaration of Independence. He was also a very vital part of the content of the Treaty of Paris, the result of which was the death of the Revolutionary War.
10. Finally, Franklin came up with countless worthwhile inventions and accomplishments throughout his life, all of which are still a boon to humanity today, long after his death. He also left a large chunk of his money to Philadelphia and Boston when he died, which is still doing a lot of good today.
As is evident, Benjamin Franklin was an influential figure in the 18th century, and it is clear why he is the favorite founding father of Philadelphia.