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- Remembering, History, and Identity: The Sculpted Life of Benjamin Franklin
- Biography Newsletter
- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
His illegitimate son William, royal governor of New Jersey between and , remained loyal to Britain, causing a rift that lasted for the rest of Franklin's life. Later that year, Franklin and two others were appointed to represent America in France. Franklin negotiated the Franco-American Alliance which provided for military cooperation between the two countries against Britain and ensured significant French subsidies to America.
He was extremely popular and well known in France, but in returned to America. He continued to be deeply involved in politics, helping to draft the Constitution. Search term:. Read more. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets CSS enabled.
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Benjamin Franklin, in his capacity as a farmer, wrote at least one critique about the negative consequences of price controls, trade restrictions and subsidy of the poor. This is succinctly preserved in his letter to the London Chronicle published November 29, titled 'On the Price of Corn, and Management of the poor'. As deputy postmaster, Franklin became interested in the North Atlantic Ocean circulation patterns. While in England in , he heard a complaint from the Colonial Board of Customs: Why did it take British packet ships carrying mail several weeks longer to reach New York than it took an average merchant ship to reach Newport, Rhode Island?
The merchantmen had a longer and more complex voyage because they left from London, while the packets left from Falmouth in Cornwall. Franklin put the question to his cousin Timothy Folger, a Nantucket whaler captain, who told him that merchant ships routinely avoided a strong eastbound mid-ocean current. Franklin worked with Folger and other experienced ship captains, learning enough to chart the current and name it the Gulf Stream , by which it is still known today. Franklin published his Gulf Stream chart in in England, where it was completely ignored.
Subsequent versions were printed in France in and the U. It took many years for British sea captains to adopt Franklin's advice on navigating the current; once they did, they were able to trim two weeks from their sailing time. Though it was Dr. Franklin and Captain Tim Folger, who first turned the Gulf Stream to nautical account, the discovery that there was a Gulf Stream cannot be said to belong to either of them, for its existence was known to Peter Martyr d'Anghiera , and to Sir Humphrey Gilbert , in the 16th century.
Franklin was, along with his contemporary Leonhard Euler , the only major scientist who supported Christiaan Huygens 's wave theory of light , which was basically ignored by the rest of the scientific community.
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In the 18th century, Newton's corpuscular theory was held to be true; only after Young's well-known slit experiment in were most scientists persuaded to believe Huygens's theory. On October 21, , according to popular myth, a storm moving from the southwest denied Franklin the opportunity of witnessing a lunar eclipse. Franklin was said to have noted that the prevailing winds were actually from the northeast, contrary to what he had expected. In correspondence with his brother, Franklin learned that the same storm had not reached Boston until after the eclipse, despite the fact that Boston is to the northeast of Philadelphia.
He deduced that storms do not always travel in the direction of the prevailing wind, a concept that greatly influenced meteorology. After the Icelandic volcanic eruption of Laki in , and the subsequent harsh European winter of , Franklin made observations connecting the causal nature of these two separate events. He wrote about them in a lecture series. Though Benjamin Franklin has been most noted kite-wise for his lightning experiments, he has also been noted by many for his using kites to pull humans and ships across waterways.
In his later years he suggested using the technique for pulling ships. Franklin noted a principle of refrigeration by observing that on a very hot day, he stayed cooler in a wet shirt in a breeze than he did in a dry one. To understand this phenomenon more clearly Franklin conducted experiments.
In on a warm day in Cambridge , England, Franklin and fellow scientist John Hadley experimented by continually wetting the ball of a mercury thermometer with ether and using bellows to evaporate the ether. In his letter Cooling by Evaporation , Franklin noted that, "One may see the possibility of freezing a man to death on a warm summer's day. According to Michael Faraday , Franklin's experiments on the non-conduction of ice are worth mentioning, although the law of the general effect of liquefaction on electrolytes is not attributed to Franklin.
Bache of the University of Pennsylvania, the law of the effect of heat on the conduction of bodies otherwise non-conductors, for example, glass, could be attributed to Franklin. Franklin writes, " A certain quantity of heat will make some bodies good conductors, that will not otherwise conduct And water, though naturally a good conductor, will not conduct well when frozen into ice. An aging Franklin accumulated all his oceanographic findings in Maritime Observations , published by the Philosophical Society's transactions in Then during three or four Days Consideration I put down under the different Heads short Hints of the different Motives that at different Times occur to me for or against the Measure.
When I have thus got them all together in one View, I endeavour to estimate their respective Weights; and where I find two, one on each side, that seem equal, I strike them both out: If I find a Reason pro equal to some two Reasons con , I strike out the three. If I judge some two Reasons con equal to some three Reasons pro , I strike out the five; and thus proceeding I find at length where the Ballance lies; and if after a Day or two of farther Consideration nothing new that is of Importance occurs on either side, I come to a Determination accordingly.
While traveling on a ship, Franklin had observed that the wake of a ship was diminished when the cooks scuttled their greasy water. He studied the effects on a large pond in Clapham Common , London. Franklin is known to have played the violin, the harp , and the guitar.
He also composed music, notably a string quartet in early classical style. While he was in London, he developed a much-improved version of the glass harmonica , in which the glasses rotate on a shaft, with the player's fingers held steady, instead of the other way around.
He worked with the London glassblower Charles James to create it, and instruments based on his mechanical version soon found their way to other parts of Europe. Franklin was an avid chess player. He was playing chess by around , making him the first chess player known by name in the American colonies. Franklin was able to play chess more frequently against stronger opposition during his many years as a civil servant and diplomat in England, where the game was far better established than in America.
He was able to improve his playing standard by facing more experienced players during this period. He regularly attended Old Slaughter's Coffee House in London for chess and socializing, making many important personal contacts. No records of his games have survived, so it is not possible to ascertain his playing strength in modern terms. Franklin was inducted into the U. Chess Hall of Fame in In , Franklin created the Union Fire Company , one of the first volunteer firefighting companies in America.
In the same year, he printed a new currency for New Jersey based on innovative anti- counterfeiting techniques he had devised. Throughout his career, Franklin was an advocate for paper money , publishing A Modest Enquiry into the Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency in , and his printer printed money. He was influential in the more restrained and thus successful monetary experiments in the Middle Colonies, which stopped deflation without causing excessive inflation.
In he made a case for paper money to the British House of Commons. As he matured, Franklin began to concern himself more with public affairs. However, the person he had in mind to run the academy, Rev. Richard Peters , refused and Franklin put his ideas away until , when he printed his own pamphlet, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania. In , Franklin founded the American Philosophical Society to help scientific men discuss their discoveries and theories.
He began the electrical research that, along with other scientific inquiries, would occupy him for the rest of his life, in between bouts of politics and moneymaking. During King George's War — , Franklin raised a militia called the Association for General Defense, because the legislators of the city decided to take no action to defend Philadelphia "either by erecting fortifications or building Ships of War". He raised money to create earthwork defenses and buy artillery.
The largest of these was the "Association Battery" or "Grand Battery" of 50 guns. In , Franklin already a very wealthy man retired from printing and went into other businesses. This lucrative business arrangement provided leisure time for study, and in a few years he had made discoveries that gave him a reputation with educated persons throughout Europe and especially in France.
Franklin became involved in Philadelphia politics and rapidly progressed. In October , he was selected as a councilman, in June he became a Justice of the Peace for Philadelphia, and in he was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly. On August 10, , Franklin was appointed deputy postmaster-general of British North America , see below. His most notable service in domestic politics was his reform of the postal system, with mail sent out every week. In , Franklin and Thomas Bond obtained a charter from the Pennsylvania legislature to establish a hospital.
Pennsylvania Hospital was the first hospital in what was to become the United States of America. In , Franklin organized the Philadelphia Contributionship , the first homeowner's insurance company in what would become the United States. Franklin solicited, printed in , and promoted an American textbook of moral philosophy by Samuel Johnson, titled Elementa Philosophica ,  to be taught in the new colleges to replace courses in denominational divinity. At its first commencement, on May 17, , seven men graduated; six with a Bachelor of Arts and one as Master of Arts.
It was later merged with the University of the State of Pennsylvania to become the University of Pennsylvania. The College was to become influential in guiding the founding documents of the United States : in the Continental Congress , for example, over one third of the college-affiliated men who contributed the Declaration of Independence between September 4, , and July 4, , were affiliated with the College. In , both Harvard  and Yale  awarded him honorary degrees.
In , he headed the Pennsylvania delegation to the Albany Congress. This meeting of several colonies had been requested by the Board of Trade in England to improve relations with the Indians and defense against the French. Franklin proposed a broad Plan of Union for the colonies. While the plan was not adopted, elements of it found their way into the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. In , Franklin received an honorary master of arts degree from the College of William and Mary.
He used Tun Tavern as a gathering place to recruit a regiment of soldiers to go into battle against the Native American uprisings that beset the American colonies. Reportedly Franklin was elected "Colonel" of the Associated Regiment but declined the honor. From the mid s to the mid s, Franklin spent much of his time in London. Officially he was there on a political mission, but he used his time to further his scientific explorations as well, meeting many notable people.
In , he was sent to England by the Pennsylvania Assembly as a colonial agent to protest against the political influence of the Penn family , the proprietors of the colony. He remained there for five years, striving to end the proprietors' prerogative to overturn legislation from the elected Assembly, and their exemption from paying taxes on their land.
His lack of influential allies in Whitehall led to the failure of this mission. At this time, many members of the Pennsylvania Assembly were feuding with William Penn's heirs , who controlled the colony as proprietors. After his return to the colony, Franklin led the "anti-proprietary party" in the struggle against the Penn family, and was elected Speaker of the Pennsylvania House in May His call for a change from proprietary to royal government was a rare political miscalculation, however: Pennsylvanians worried that such a move would endanger their political and religious freedoms.
Because of these fears, and because of political attacks on his character, Franklin lost his seat in the October Assembly elections. The anti-proprietary party dispatched Franklin to England again to continue the struggle against the Penn family proprietorship. During this trip, events drastically changed the nature of his mission. In London, Franklin opposed the Stamp Act.
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Unable to prevent its passage, he made another political miscalculation and recommended a friend to the post of stamp distributor for Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanians were outraged, believing that he had supported the measure all along, and threatened to destroy his home in Philadelphia.https://pagujwitochou.ml/string-quintet-a-minor-op91.php
Remembering, History, and Identity: The Sculpted Life of Benjamin Franklin
Franklin soon learned of the extent of colonial resistance to the Stamp Act, and he testified during the House of Commons proceedings that led to its repeal. With this, Franklin suddenly emerged as the leading spokesman for American interests in England. He wrote popular essays on behalf of the colonies. Georgia , New Jersey , and Massachusetts also appointed him as their agent to the Crown.
During his stays there, he developed a close friendship with his landlady, Margaret Stevenson, and her circle of friends and relations, in particular her daughter Mary, who was more often known as Polly. Their house, which he used on various lengthy missions from to , is the only one of his residences to survive. It opened to the public as the Benjamin Franklin House museum in Whilst in London, Franklin became involved in radical politics. He belonged to a gentleman's club which he called "the honest Whigs" , which held stated meetings, and included members such as Richard Price , the minister of Newington Green Unitarian Church who ignited the Revolution Controversy , and Andrew Kippis.
After his return to the United States in , Franklin became the Society's Corresponding Member, continuing a close connection. The study of natural philosophy what we would call science drew him into overlapping circles of acquaintance. Franklin was, for example, a corresponding member of the Lunar Society of Birmingham , which included such other scientific and industrial luminaries as Matthew Boulton , James Watt , Josiah Wedgwood and Erasmus Darwin ; on occasion he visited them. In , the University of St Andrews awarded Franklin an honorary doctorate in recognition of his accomplishments.
Because of these honors, Franklin was often addressed as " Dr. Franklin also managed to secure an appointed post for his illegitimate son, William Franklin , by then an attorney, as Colonial Governor of New Jersey. This reformed alphabet discarded six letters Franklin regarded as redundant c, j, q, w, x, and y , and substituted six new letters for sounds he felt lacked letters of their own. This alphabet never caught on, and he eventually lost interest. Franklin used London as a base to travel. In , he visited Edinburgh with his son, and recalled his conversations there as "the densest happiness of my life".
From then he was known as "Doctor Franklin". He had never been to Ireland before, and met and stayed with Lord Hillsborough , who he believed was especially attentive. Franklin noted of him that "all the plausible behaviour I have described is meant only, by patting and stroking the horse, to make him more patient, while the reins are drawn tighter, and the spurs set deeper into his sides.
He was the first American to receive this honor. Ireland's economy was affected by the same trade regulations and laws of Britain that governed America. Franklin feared that America could suffer the same effects should Britain's "colonial exploitation" continue. Franklin spent two months in German lands in , but his connections to the country stretched across a lifetime.
He declared a debt of gratitude to German scientist Otto von Guericke for his early studies of electricity. Franklin also co-authored the first treaty of friendship between Prussia and America in News of his electrical discoveries was widespread in France.
His reputation meant that he was introduced to many influential scientists and politicians, and also to King Louis XV. One line of argument in Parliament was that Americans should pay a share of the costs of the French and Indian War , and that therefore taxes should be levied on them.
Franklin became the American spokesman in highly publicized testimony in Parliament in He stated that Americans already contributed heavily to the defense of the Empire. He said local governments had raised, outfitted and paid 25, soldiers to fight France—as many as Britain itself sent—and spent many millions from American treasuries doing so in the French and Indian War alone.
In , Franklin obtained private letters of Thomas Hutchinson and Andrew Oliver , governor and lieutenant governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay , proving that they had encouraged the Crown to crack down on Bostonians. Franklin sent them to America, where they escalated the tensions. The letters were finally leaked to the public in the Boston Gazette in mid-June ,  causing a political firestorm in Massachusetts and raising significant questions in England. Hopes for a peaceful solution ended as he was systematically ridiculed and humiliated by Solicitor-General Alexander Wedderburn , before the Privy Council on January 29, He returned to Philadelphia in March , and abandoned his accommodationist stance.
Franklin is known to have occasionally attended the Hellfire Club 's meetings during as a non-member during his time in England. However, some authors and historians would argue Benjamin Franklin was in fact a British spy. As there are no records left having been burned in  , many of these members are just assumed or linked by letters sent to each other. In , soon after Franklin returned to Pennsylvania from England for the first time, the western frontier was engulfed in a bitter war known as Pontiac's Rebellion.
The Paxton Boys , a group of settlers convinced that the Pennsylvania government was not doing enough to protect them from American Indian raids, murdered a group of peaceful Susquehannock Indians and marched on Philadelphia. Franklin helped to organize a local militia to defend the capital against the mob. He met with the Paxton leaders and persuaded them to disperse. Franklin wrote a scathing attack against the racial prejudice of the Paxton Boys. He provided an early response to British surveillance through his own network of counter-surveillance and manipulation. By the time Franklin arrived in Philadelphia on May 5, , after his second mission to Great Britain, the American Revolution had begun—with fighting between colonials and British at Lexington and Concord.
The New England militia had trapped the main British army in Boston. In June , he was appointed a member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence. Although he was temporarily disabled by gout and unable to attend most meetings of the Committee, Franklin made several "small but important"  changes to the draft sent to him by Thomas Jefferson.
At the signing, he is quoted as having replied to a comment by John Hancock that they must all hang together: "Yes, we must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately. Well known as a printer and publisher, Franklin was appointed postmaster of Philadelphia in , holding the office until , when he and publisher William Hunter were named deputy postmasters—general of British North America, the first to hold the office. Joint appointments were standard at the time, for political reasons.
Franklin was responsible for the British colonies from Pennsylvania north and east, as far as the island of Newfoundland. A post office for local and outgoing mail had been established in Halifax, Nova Scotia , by local stationer Benjamin Leigh, on April 23, , but service was irregular.
Franklin opened the first post office to offer regular, monthly mail in what would later become Canada, at Halifax, on December 9, Meantime, Hunter became postal administrator in Williamsburg , Virginia and oversaw areas south of Annapolis , Maryland. Franklin reorganized the service's accounting system, then improved speed of delivery between Philadelphia, New York and Boston. By , efficiencies led to the first profits for the colonial post office.
For the greater part of his appointment, Franklin lived in England from to , and again from to —about three-quarters of his term. Franklin had been a postmaster for decades and was a natural choice for the position. The report of the Committee, providing for the appointment of a postmaster general for the 13 American colonies, was considered by the Continental Congress on July 25 and It established a postal system that became the United States Post Office, a system that continues to operate today.
Franklin remained in France until He conducted the affairs of his country toward the French nation with great success, which included securing a critical military alliance in and negotiating the Treaty of Paris Franklin and Mirabeau thought of it as a "noble order", inconsistent with the egalitarian ideals of the new republic. He was the th member of the Lodge. In , when Franz Mesmer began to publicize his theory of " animal magnetism " which was considered offensive by many, Louis XVI appointed a commission to investigate it.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
Franklin's advocacy for religious tolerance in France contributed to arguments made by French philosophers and politicians that resulted in Louis XVI 's signing of the Edict of Versailles in November This edict effectively nullified the Edict of Fontainebleau , which had denied non-Catholics civil status and the right to openly practice their faith. Franklin also served as American minister to Sweden, although he never visited that country. On August 27, , in Paris, Franklin witnessed the world's first hydrogen balloon flight.
When he returned home in , Franklin occupied a position only second to that of George Washington as the champion of American independence. After his return, Franklin became an abolitionist and freed his two slaves. He eventually became president of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society.
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In , Franklin served as a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention. He held an honorary position and seldom engaged in debate. In , a group of prominent ministers in Lancaster, Pennsylvania , proposed the foundation of a new college named in Franklin's honor. Between and , he finished his autobiography. While it was at first addressed to his son, it was later completed for the benefit of mankind at the request of a friend. Franklin strongly supported the right to freedom of speech :. In those wretched countries where a man cannot call his tongue his own, he can scarce call anything his own.
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Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom, and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech, which is the right of every man Special balloting conducted October 18, , unanimously elected Franklin the sixth president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania , replacing John Dickinson.
The office was practically that of governor. Franklin held that office for slightly over three years, longer than any other, and served the constitutional limit of three full terms. Shortly after his initial election he was reelected to a full term on October 29, , and again in the fall of and on October 31, In that capacity he served as host to the Constitutional Convention of in Philadelphia. Like the other advocates of republicanism , Franklin emphasized that the new republic could survive only if the people were virtuous. All his life he explored the role of civic and personal virtue, as expressed in Poor Richard's aphorisms.
Franklin felt that organized religion was necessary to keep men good to their fellow men, but rarely attended religious services himself. Franklin's parents were both pious Puritans. The book preached the importance of forming voluntary associations to benefit society. Franklin learned about forming do-good associations from Cotton Mather, but his organizational skills made him the most influential force in making voluntarism an enduring part of the American ethos.
Franklin formulated a presentation of his beliefs and published it in He clarified himself as a deist in his autobiography,  although still considered himself a Christian. It was Ben Franklin who, at a critical impasse during the Constitutional Convention in June , attempted to introduce the practice of daily common prayer with these words:.
In the beginning of the contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor.
And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that "except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.
I therefore beg leave to move—that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service. The motion met with resistance and was never brought to a vote. Franklin was an enthusiastic supporter of the evangelical minister George Whitefield during the First Great Awakening.
Franklin did not subscribe to Whitefield's theology, but he admired Whitefield for exhorting people to worship God through good works. Franklin published all of Whitefield's sermons and journals, thereby earning a lot of money and boosting the Great Awakening. Sunday being my studying day, I never was without some religious principles.
I never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity; that He made the world, and governed it by His providence; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished, and virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter. Franklin retained a lifelong commitment to the Puritan virtues and political values he had grown up with, and through his civic work and publishing, he succeeded in passing these values into the American culture permanently.
He had a "passion for virtue". The classical authors read in the Enlightenment period taught an abstract ideal of republican government based on hierarchical social orders of king, aristocracy and commoners. It was widely believed that English liberties relied on their balance of power, but also hierarchal deference to the privileged class.
Franklin's commitment to teach these values was itself something he gained from his Puritan upbringing, with its stress on "inculcating virtue and character in themselves and their communities. Franklin's writings on virtue were derided by some European authors, such as Jackob Fugger in his critical work Portrait of American Culture. Max Weber considered Franklin's ethical writings a culmination of the Protestant ethic , which ethic created the social conditions necessary for the birth of capitalism.
One of Franklin's notable characteristics was his respect, tolerance and promotion of all churches. Referring to his experience in Philadelphia, he wrote in his autobiography , "new Places of worship were continually wanted, and generally erected by voluntary Contribution, my Mite for such purpose, whatever might be the Sect, was never refused. Although Franklin's parents had intended for him to have a career in the Church,  Franklin as a young man adopted the Enlightenment religious belief in deism , that God's truths can be found entirely through nature and reason.
According to David Morgan,  Franklin was a proponent of religion in general. He prayed to "Powerful Goodness" and referred to God as "the infinite". John Adams noted that Franklin was a mirror in which people saw their own religion: "The Catholics thought him almost a Catholic. The Church of England claimed him as one of them. The Presbyterians thought him half a Presbyterian, and the Friends believed him a wet Quaker.
In , just about a month before he died, Franklin wrote a letter to Ezra Stiles , president of Yale University , who had asked him his views on religion:. As to Jesus of Nazareth , my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England , some Doubts as to his divinity; tho' it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and I think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble.
I see no harm, however, in its being believed, if that belief has the good consequence, as it probably has, of making his doctrines more respected and better observed; especially as I do not perceive that the Supreme takes it amiss, by distinguishing the unbelievers in his government of the world with any particular marks of his displeasure. Franklin's proposal which was not adopted featured the motto: "Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God" and a scene from the Book of Exodus , with Moses , the Israelites , the pillar of fire , and George III depicted as pharaoh.
The design that was produced was never acted upon by Congress, and the Great Seal's design was not finalized until a third committee was appointed in Franklin sought to cultivate his character by a plan of 13 virtues, which he developed at age 20 in and continued to practice in some form for the rest of his life. His autobiography lists his 13 virtues as:. Franklin did not try to work on them all at once. Instead, he would work on one and only one each week "leaving all others to their ordinary chance.
Franklin owned as many as seven slaves, two males who worked in his household and his shop. Franklin posted paid ads for the sale of slaves and for the capture of runaway slaves and allowed the sale of slaves in his general store. Franklin profited from both the international and domestic slave trade, even criticizing slaves who had run off to join the British Army during the colonial wars of the s and s.
Franklin, however, later became a "cautious abolitionist" and became an outspoken critic of landed gentry slavery. In , Franklin advocated the opening of a school for the education of black slaves in Philadelphia. Franklin took two slaves to England with him, Peter and King, and King left his service there in by he was working for "a lady in Suffolk". During his time as a delegate to London and France, Franklin noticed that many performers used sets of drinking glasses to create sound. He was intrigued, and got to work on a musical instrument that could mimic the sound of wet fingers on glass.
Completed in , Franklin's glass armonica "armonica" comes from the Italian word "armonia," which means "harmony" uses glass cups of varying sizes and density to create different notes. Franklin said about his creation, "Of all my inventions, the glass armonica has given me the greatest personal satisfaction. Franklin's alphabet was designed to "have a more natural order" than the traditional English alphabet, with an emphasis on spelling according to sound and vocal effort. If Franklin's alphabet was implemented — which it wasn't — we probably wouldn't have the letters C, J, Q, W, X, and Y, which Franklin found confusing and redundant.
Franklin was a lifelong swimmer — he actually invented his own pair of flippers when he was a young boy. He was a lifelong swim teacher and advocate, and often proposed that schools should implement swimming programs. For that reason, Franklin was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in It's no secret that Benjamin Franklin is one of the country's founding fathers, but he was the only one to sign all four documents used to gain independence from Britain: the Declaration of Independence in , the Treaty of Alliance with France in , the Treaty of Paris in , and the US Constitution in To top that off, Franklin was also the oldest signer of the Declaration of Independence , which he gave his "John Hancock" to at age Franklin could have received monetary and legal credit for all of the remarkable ideas of his lifetime, and yet he never sought a patent for any of his inventions.
According to PBS, it was against his belief system. Franklin quipped, " As we benefit from the inventions of others, we should be glad to share our own A few of his amazing inventions include street lighting, swim fins, bifocal glasses which he can be seen wearing in almost every portrait , and a stove. In order to submit to the rebellious newspaper the New England Courant, Franklin used a fake name: Mrs.