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Ben Franklin

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Benjamin Franklin was born January 17, 1706 in Boston. His father Josiah was a

soap maker. His mother was Akiah Folger, Josiah's second wife. They had 13 children.

Ben only had 2 years of formal education but he loved to read. At age 12, he went

to be an apprentice with his brother James at his print shop. When Ben was 15 his brother

started "The New England Courant", the first newspaper in Boston. Ben wanted to write

for the paper but his brother wouldn't let him. So Ben started writing letters and signing

them "Silence Dogwood". The letters were a hit and after 16 letters, Ben told everyone

that he was the write. His brother was furious.

At age 17 Ben ran away to Philadelphia. After 1 year, Ben went to England and

became a Master Printer. He returned to Philadelphia in 1726. In 1729 Ben bought a

newspaper "The Pennsylvania Gazette". He was also the postmaster of Philadelphia. Ben

organized a club of tradesmen called the Junto, they wanted to build their own businesses.

Junto founded a library (1751), fire company (1736), a college (1749), insurance company

and hospital (1751). In 1733 Ben started publishing Poor Richard's Almanac. Many

famous phrases are associated with the Almanac like "a penny saved is a penny earned." In

1743 Ben had already invented the Pennsylvania Fireplace, later called the Franklin's

Stove. Ben also invented swimfins, bifocals and the glass armonica (a musical

instrument). But his famous kite experiment during a lightning



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