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Ben Franklin Dedication

Ben Franklinn This page is dedicated to Ben Franklin the person.

It seems fitting that since our school is named for Ben Franklin that we provide more information about him. We hope you enjoy.



Ben Franklin Sayings:


A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.

A good conscience is a continual Christmas.

A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.

A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.

A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave.

A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.

A penny saved is a penny earned.

A place for everything, everything in its place.

A small leak can sink a great ship.

Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.

Admiration is the daughter of ignorance.

All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.

All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones.

All who think cannot but see there is a sanction like that of religion which binds us in partnership in the serious work of the world.

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

And whether you're an honest man, or whether you're a thief, Depends on whose solicitor has given me my brief.

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security.

Applause waits on success.

As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

At twenty years of age the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.

Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.

Beauty and folly are old companions.

Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.

Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.

Beware the hobby that eats.

Buy what thou hast no need of and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessities.

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.

Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.

Creditors have better memories than debtors.

Diligence is the mother of good luck.

Distrust and caution are the parents of security.

Do good to your friends to keep them, to your enemies to win them.

Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.

Do not squander time for that is the stuff life is made of.

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.

Each year one vicious habit discarded, in time might make the worst of us good.

Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others.

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.

Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure.

Energy and persistence conquer all things.

Fatigue is the best pillow.

For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.

Gain may be temporary and uncertain; but ever while you live, expense is constant and certain: and it is easier to build two chimneys than to keep one in fuel.

Games lubricate the body and the mind.

Genius without education is like silver in the mine.

Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.

Half a truth is often a great lie.

Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.

He does not possess wealth; it possesses him.

He that can have patience can have what he will.

He that composes himself is wiser than he that composes a book.

He that displays too often his wife and his wallet is in danger of having both of them borrowed.

He that has done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.

He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.

He that lives upon hope will die fasting.

He that raises a large family does, indeed, while he lives to observe them, stand a broader mark for sorrow; but then he stands a broader mark for pleasure too.

He that rises late must trot all day.

He that speaks much, is much mistaken.

He that waits upon fortune, is never sure of a dinner.

He that won't be counseled can't be helped.

He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or all he sees.

He that's secure is not safe.

He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals.

Hear reason, or she'll make you feel her.

Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?


Honesty is the best policy.

How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.

Human felicity is produced not as much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen as by little advantages that occur every day.

Hunger is the best pickle.

I conceive that the great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by false estimates they have made of the value of things.

I didn't fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.

I guess I don't so much mind being old, as I mind being fat and old.

I look upon death to be as necessary to our constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning.

I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand.

I should have no objection to go over the same life from its beginning to the end: requesting only the advantage authors have, of correcting in a second edition the faults of the first.

I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.

If a man could have half of his wishes, he would double his troubles.

If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.

If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him.

If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.

If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.

If you desire many things, many things will seem few.

If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher's stone.

If you would be loved, love and be lovable.

If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself.

If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some.

In general, mankind, since the improvement of cookery, eats twice as much as nature requires.

In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.

Industry need not wish.

It is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness and I pronounce it as certain that there was never a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.

It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.

It is much easier to suppress a first desire than to satisfy those that follow.

It is only when the rich are sick that they fully feel the impotence of wealth.

It is the eye of other people that ruin us. If I were blind I would want, neither fine clothes, fine houses or fine furniture.

It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man.

It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.

Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed.

Leisure is the time for doing something useful. This leisure the diligent person will obtain the lazy one never.

Life's Tragedy is that we get old to soon and wise too late.

Lost time is never found again.

Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it.

Many foxes grow gray but few grow good.

Many people die at twenty five and aren't buried until they are seventy five.

Marriage is the most natural state of man, and... the state in which you will find solid happiness.

Mine is better than ours.

Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.

Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.

Most people return small favors, acknowledge medium ones and repay greater ones - with ingratitude.

Necessity never made a good bargain.

Never confuse motion with action.

Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.

Never take a wife till thou hast a house (and a fire) to put her in.

No nation was ever ruined by trade.

Observe all men, thyself most.

One today is worth two tomorrows.

Our necessities never equal our wants.

Rather go to bed with out dinner than to rise in debt.

Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Remember that credit is money.

Savages we call them because their manners differ from ours.

She laughs at everything you say. Why? Because she has fine teeth.

Since thou are not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.

Some people die at 25 and aren't buried until 75.

Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody.

Take time for all things: great haste makes great waste.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

The absent are never without fault, nor the present without excuse.

The art of acting consists in keeping people from coughing.

The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.

The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

The discontented man finds no easy chair.

The doors of wisdom are never shut.

The first mistake in public business is the going into it.

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either.

The strictest law sometimes becomes the severest injustice.

The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.

The use of money is all the advantage there is in having it.

The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise.

There are three faithful friends - an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.

There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self.

There are two ways of being happy: We must either diminish our wants or augment our means - either may do - the result is the same and it is for each man to decide for himself and to do that which happens to be easier.

There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government.

There never was a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.

There was never a good war, or a bad peace.

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.

Those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory, sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them.

Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Those that won't be counseled can't be helped.

Those who govern, having much business on their hands, do not generally like to take the trouble of considering and carrying into execution new projects. The best public measures are therefore seldom adopted from previous wisdom, but forced by the occasion.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.

Time is money.

To Follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.

To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.

To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.

Tomorrow every fault is to be amended; but tomorrow never comes.

Tomorrow, every Fault is to be amended; but that Tomorrow never comes.

Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest.

Trouble springs from idleness, and grievous toil from needless ease.

Wars are not paid for in wartime, the bill comes later.

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.

We are more thoroughly an enlightened people, with respect to our political interests, than perhaps any other under heaven. Every man among us reads, and is so easy in his circumstances as to have leisure for conversations of improvement and for acquiring information.

We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.

Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.

Well done is better than well said.

Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.

When befriended, remember it; when you befriend, forget it.

When in doubt, don't.

When men and woman die, as poets sung, his heart's the last part moves, her last, the tongue.

When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?


When you're finished changing, you're finished.

Where liberty is, there is my country.

Where sense is wanting, everything is wanting.

Where there's marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.

Who had deceived thee so often as thyself?


Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.

Who is rich? He that rejoices in his portion.

Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.

Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.

Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it.

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.

Words may show a man's wit but actions his meaning.

Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow.

Write injuries in dust, benefits in marble.

Write your injuries in dust, your benefits in marble.

You can bear your own faults, and why not a fault in your wife?


You may delay, but time will not.

Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.

Benjamin Franklin FAQ

When was Ben born?
Benjamin Franklin was born on Sunday, January 17, 1706, in Boston, Massachusetts,

which was then a British colony.

When did Ben die?
Benjamin Franklin died on April 17, 1790, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United

States of America. Born an Englishman, died an American!

Where is Ben buried?
Benjamin Franklin is buried in the cemetery of Christ Church, Philadelphia.

Funeral description at and

Where did Ben go to school?
Benjamin Franklin's father wanted Ben to be the son who became a preacher and

so he sent him to grammar school when he was 8 years old. After less than a year,

for financial reasons, Ben transferred to Mr. George Brownell's school for writing and

arithmetic. He stayed at the new school until he was ten, doing well in writing and
badly in arithmetic. He then left school to work with his father in their candle shop.

Ben's further education came from his own reading and lifelong conversation and

debate with his friends.

Ben Franklin Timeline
Early America (autobiography)

What did Ben want to be when he grew up?
From his school days on, Benjamin Franklin wanted to be a sailor. His father did

not want this because an older son, Josiah, had gone to sea and never returned.

Reading was Ben's favorite pastime so his father made the connection to the trade

of printing and sent Ben to learn in his brother's printing shop. Ben continued this

learning in Philadelphia and England eventually set up his own printing business

in Philadelphia.

Was Ben a Quaker?
Benjamin Franklin was not a Quaker. He was baptized in 1706, at the Old South

Church congregation's Cedar Meeting House on downtown Washington Street,

Boston. Built in 1729 as a Congregational church, Old South was the largest

building in colonial Boston.

In Philadelphia he occasionally worshiped at Christ Church, the Church of England

parish established in colonial Philadelphia in 1695 and later reorganized into the

Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

Did Ben have sisters or brothers?
Benjamin Franklin had five older sisters: Elizabeth, Hannah, Anne, Mary, and Sarah.

He had two younger sisters: Lydia and Jane. Ben also had five older brothers:

Samuel, Josiah, John, Peter, and James.

Family Tree by WikiTree 


Who did Ben marry?
Benjamin Franklin married Deborah Read Rogers in 1730. She died in 1774. While

Ben operated his printing shop, Deborah ran a general store in the same building.

Did Ben have children?
Benjamin Franklin had two sons: William who remained loyal to the British crown

and became Royal Governor of New Jersey, and Francis Folger who died from

smallpox at the age of four. His daughter, Sarah, was known as Sally.


Did Ben have grandchildren?
Benjamin Franklin had eight grandchildren: William Temple, who was the son of

William Franklin, and the seven children of Sally (Franklin) Bache, named:

Benjamin, William, Betsy, Louis, Deborah, Richard, and Sarah.

Where did Ben live?
In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin lived and worked on the 300 block of Market Street.


Did Ben have a dog?
Ben's son William apparently owned a Newfoundland dog, name unknown. There

are two references in the Papers of Benjamin Franklin to William's dog. The first

appears in a footnote on page 435 of Volume 26. Someone writing to Franklin adds

the comment that "nothing shall tempt me to forget your newfoundland Dog." The
second reference, three years later and to the same dog, is on page 179 of Volume
36. The letter is in French, and indicates that a Madame De Boulainvillers returned

the dog to Franklin; it seems as if the dog had strayed. These letters, dated 1778

and 1781, are both from Franklin's time in Paris.

What did Ben look like?
Pages 90 - 91 of Carl Van Doren's book, Benjamin Franklin offers the following

comments on Franklin's physical appearance:

No certain early likeness of him survives, but what he outwardly was when he

returned to Philadelphia may be imagined backwards from later portraits and

various chance notes on his personal appearance. Strongly built, rounded like

a swimmer or a wrestler, not angular like a runner, he was five feet nine or ten

inches tall, with a large head and square, deft hands. His hair was blond or

light brown, his eyes grey, full, and steady, his mouth wide and humorous with

a pointed upper lip. His clothing was as clean as it was plain. Though he and

others say he was hesitant in speech, he was prompt in action.

What did Ben eat?
Ben decided to become a vegetarian when he was 16 years old. He prepared

his own meals, and mentions eating boiled potatoes, rice, hasty pudding,

bread, raisins, and water. Quickly finishing his simple meals gave Ben more

time for reading.

Ben later gave up vegetarianism; during the voyage from Boston to Philadelphia

he ate fish.

Autobiography, Chapter 4:


What games did Ben enjoy?
Ben liked to play Chess and Magic Squares. He also created Magic Circles.


What kind of music did Ben like?
Ben composed a quartet.

Ben Franklin found simple beauty in simple tunes. He played several musical

instruments, including the violin, harp, and guitar. His great interest in music

lead him to build his own glass armonica. This simple musical instrument was

played by touching the edge of the spinning glass with dampened fingers. The

armonica's beautiful tones appealed to many composers, including Mozart

and Beethoven.

A Magical Touch...of Harmony

What countries did Ben travel to, and why?
1724-26 - England, to continue training as a printer
1757-1762 - England, acting as London representative of the Pennsylvania Assembly
1764-66 - England, to Craven Street, London
1767 - To France
1774 - To England
1776-84 - France, acting as a American Commissioner to France, negotiates

Treaty of Alliance with France.

Ben was a negotiator of treaties with Prussia and other countries. For England,

negotiator of the Treaty of Peace with Great Britain.

Was Ben rich?
Ben did not patent inventions, and he retired from business at 41 or 42. He said in

his autobiography: "Having emerged from the poverty and obscurity in which I was

born and bred, to a state of affluence .."

Also see: Last Will & Testament:

Did Ben really want the turkey to be the symbol of the United States

of America?
In a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin wrote:

For my own part I wish the Eagle had not been chosen the representative of our

country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly.

You may have seen him perched on some dead tree near the river, where, too

lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the Fishing Hawk; and when

that diligent Bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the

support of his mate and young ones, the Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

With all this injustice, he is never in good case but like those among men who

live by sharping & robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he

is a rank coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly

and drives him out of the district. He is therefore by no means a proper emblem

for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds

from our country...

"I am on this account not displeased that the figure is not known as a Eagle,

but looks more like a Turkey. For the truth the Turkey is in comparison a much

more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America . . . He is

besides, though a little vain & silly, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to

attack a grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his farm

yard with a red coat on.

What things were named for Ben?
Among other things, a tree, several communities, and banks.

Franklinia tree:
There is a list of places in the United States named for Franklin HERE.


A few examples:
Benjamin Franklin Bridge
USS Benjamin Franklin (a ballistic missile submarine)
Franklin, Pennsylvania
North Franklin, Connecticut
North Franklin, Maine
Franklin Township, Pennsylvania
North Franklin Township, Nebraska
North Franklin Township, Pennsylvania

Ben Franklin School in Corona, California as well as other school elsewhere

What businesses did Ben have?
Ben was a printer and a postmaster.

What did Ben print in his shop?
Ben opened his own printing office

in Philadelphia. His most famous publications were a newspaper called
The Pennsylvania Gazette
and his annual Poor Richard's Almanack. He had

many new ideas for publishing and he is known for printing cartoons, illustrated

news stories, and letters to the editor. He believed in the power of the press,

using his printing press as a way to bring the news to all people. He used

cartoons and pictures so that everyone could understand the news, even

people who had not learned to read.

Ben also used Poor Richard's Almanack to express his sense of humor.


The Titan Leeds Hoax lasted for


What did Ben discover?
Ben's discoveries include: the gulf stream, whirlwinds, and the electrostatic


Properties of Lightning: Electrified Ben

From Franklin...He's Electric!: Franklin was one of the first to discover that

storms tend to move from west to east, and he made some of the first-recorded

weather forecasts in his Poor Richard's Almanack. He also charted the Gulf

Stream in detail and developed Daylight Savings Time.

What did Ben invent?several years, appearing in the 1733, 1734,

1735, and 1740 editions of the Almanack.

Thoughts from Poor Richard's Almanack 

Ben also printed money: Making...Money

Ben's inventions include: bifocals, lightning rod, Glass Armonica, library chair,

swim fins, the long reach device, Franklin Stove, catheter, and Daylight Savings Time.

Lightning Rod: Point...of Invention
Glass Armonica: A Magical Touch...of Harmony

From Franklin...He's Electric!:
Swim Fins: An avid swimmer, Franklin developed early swim fins. As a boy,

he had fashioned two wooden palettes, oval in shape and with a hole through

which to put one's thumb. With one on each hand, he paddled through water,

observing that they helped him to swim faster. He later developed swim fins

to reduce what he called a "laborious and fatiguing operation."

Franklin Stove: Ben invented the Franklin Stove, an iron furnace that allowed

people to heat their homes safely while using less wood. He discovered the

conductivity of heat by color and established the first volunteer fire-fighting

union and fire insurance company in Philadelphia.

Bioscience and Medicine: As happens to most of us, Franklin's vision

deteriorated as he grew older. He loved to read and grew tired of switching

between two pairs of glasses—one that helped him to see things close,

another to see things farther away. So, he cut the lenses from both pairs

in half, then put half of each lens in a single frame, inventing bifocals. He

also invented the first flexible urinary catheter (for his brother) and co-founded

the Pennsylvania Hospital.

What did Ben observe?
Ben's observations include: vaccination, common cold, fresh air baths,

colored cloth, volcanoes, weather, Franklin Bells, and air mail via balloon.

See Franklin's Forecast.

From Franklin...He's Electric!:
Flight: After observing the world's first-known hot air balloon flight in France,

Ben correctly predicted that balloons would be used for military, recreational,

and scientific purposes.

What services did Ben establish?
Ben established: street lighting, paving, post office, fire company, insurance,

and the Library Company.

From Ben served as Postmaster,

helping to set up the postal system in Philadelphia. In order to make Philadelphia

a safer city, he started the Union Fire Company in 1736. A few years later,

in 1752, he set up America's first fire insurance company. He even organized

a Night Watch and Militia to help keep peace and safety in Philadelphia. While

in Paris, Ben proposed the idea of Daylight Savings Time.

In 1731, Ben founded America's

first circulating library so that people could borrow books to read even though

they might not have been able to afford to buy books to read.

Which institutions did Ben start?
The University of Pennsylvania, American Philosophical Society, Pennsylvania

Hospital, Franklin and Marshall College.

What awards did Ben receive?
Franklin was a member of the learned societies of many nations. Among these

were the Royal Society, which awarded him its prestigious Copley medal for

his work in electricity (1753); and the American Philosophical Society, of which

he was a founder. He received several honorary degrees, including a doctorate

from St. Andrews.

What were Ben's pseudonyms?
Silence Dogood, Polly Baker, and Richard Saunders.

Which political documents did Ben sign?
From Ben stands alone as the

only person to have signed all four of the documents which helped to create

the United States: the Declaration of Independence (1776); the Treaty of Alliance,

Amity, and Commerce with France (1778); the Treaty of Peace between England,

France, and the United States (1782); and the Constitution (1787). He actually

helped to write parts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

No other individual was more involved in the birth of our nation.


What was the Franklin Flag?
The "Franklin Flag"—given for foreign recognition before the first national flag

was adopted—was similar to the one we know today.



Who were Ben's friends?
Franklin enjoyed close personal and professional relationships with quite

a few of the important European thinkers of his day, such as Hume, Priestley,

Lavoisier and Condorset.

Dr. Bancroft, a physician and naturalist (also Franklin's secretary in Paris),

Jonathan Williams, William Alexander, and English banker Thomas Walpole

were among others. (See Franklin..."I-doll-ized".)

What did Ben's signature look like?
Franklin never identified himself as "Ben." His signature was "B. Franklin."
To authenticate Franklin's signature, you should contact The American

Philosophical Society, Independence National Historical Park, or The

Library Company. All of these institutions are located in Philadelphia.

Franklin explains his "moral algebra" approach to problem solving in this

September 1772 letter to Joseph Priestly:


* He started the first subscription library in the United States.

* He was able to read English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Latin.

* The Union Fire Company was the first organized company in the United States designed to
fight fires. It was Ben Franklin's idea. Ben Franklin writes, "Our Articles of Agreement
oblig'd every member to keep always in good order and fit for use, a certain number of leather
buckets, with strong bags and baskets, which were to be brought to every fire; and we agreed
to meet once a month and spend a social evening together, in discoursing, and communicating
such ideas as occur'd to us upon the subject of fire as might be useful in our conduct on such
occasions." Members missing a meeting were fined and this helped to buy new equipment.

* He lived his life by 13 virtues and monitored his behavior based on those virtues. He selected
virtue per week and marked down any time during the week he did something against the

* Ben Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack was first published under the name of Richard


* Ben Franklin was instrumental in the opening of one of the first universities in the United States.

The school is the University of Philadelphia.


* Ben Franklin was one of the sponsors of the first hospitals in America. Hospitals were used in

England at the time but not in colonies. He worked with others to get people to sponsor a
hospital. This permitted them to go to the hospital for health needs.

* Ben Franklin's popularity never diminished in France. On news of his death in 1790, the

National Assembly went into mourning for three days, making it, according to one historian, "the

first political body in the world to pay homage to a simple citizen from another land."


* In Philadelphia, Ben Franklin's funeral bore witness to his dedication to the ideals of

brotherhood and tolerance. On the day of his funeral, leaders from every denomination in the

city - 34 ministers, preachers, priests & at least one rabbi - marched arm in arm behind his

casket as it was being carried to the gravesite.

* Ben Franklin was only person to sign all four of the major founding documents of the United

States of America - the Declaration of Independence, the treaty of alliance with France, the

peace accord with England & the Constitution.

* Ben Franklin left no direct descendents with the surname, Franklin. He had two sons, William

(who was illegitimate) and Francis, aka Franky. Franky died of smallpox at the age of 4. William

had one son, Temple (also illegitimate). Temple had a daughter (again illegitimate), but no sons.

* Ben Franklin is one of two Americans to have a street in Paris named after him. The other?

Dwight D. Eisenhower.

* The Franklin stove, the lightning rod, the glass armonica and bifocals are among Ben Franklin's

most famous inventions. But there were others, less well known. When he was postmaster, Ben

needed to figure out routes and distances for mail delivery. He invented a simple odometer and

attached it to his carriage. As he got older, Ben had trouble reaching books on the higher

shelves of his library. He created the "long arm" - a wooden pole with a grasping claw at the

end. When his brother John began to suffer from kidney stones, Ben Franklin produced the first

flexible urinary catheter in America.

* More from Ben's inventive mind: The design of the first coin issued by the United States-the so-

called "Fugio Cent"-- is attributed to Ben Franklin. Soon after inventing the lightning rod, Ben

Franklin installed one on his own house. He also designed an alarm that would ring a pair of

bells at the approach of an electrical storm. In addition to inventing a musical instrument - the

glass armonica - Ben Franklin also played the harp, violin and guitar. Marie Antoinette was

among those who learned how to play the armonica.

* In addition to his inventions, Ben Franklin was the first to chart the Gulf Stream and the first to

propose the idea of Daylight Savings Time. He also publicly advocated the healthful benefits of

citrus fruits (oranges, limes, grapefruits), long before Vitamin C was ever discovered. Ben was

also one of the first to recognize the link between lead and the deadly illnesses suffered by

plumbers, painters, printers and other tradesmen who worked with it on a daily basis.

* At one point in his early adulthood, Ben Franklin actually owned household slaves. Over time,

he became a committed abolitionist. In February 1790, less than 3 months before he died, Ben

presented Congress with a formal petition that called for the abolition of slavery in the United

States. It was one of Ben Franklin's last public acts. The petition was denounced by

representatives from the slave states and roundly defeated.

* Davy Crockett reportedly carried just one book with him when he went to his death at the

Alamo - a copy of Ben Franklin's Autobiography.

* At the time of his death, Ben Franklin had the largest and best private library in America. 4,276 volumes.

* When French and Spanish privateers threatened Philadelphia in 1747, Ben Franklin organized a

militia of 10,000 men from all across Pennsylvania. He refused appointment as an officer,

preferring to serve as a common soldier, taking his turn patrolling the banks of the Delaware River.

* Though he ranks among the most influential leaders in American history, Ben Franklin did not

consider himself an orator, and rarely gave speeches.

* Ben Franklin was so popular that he was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly, even when he

was living in London.

* The actual inscription on Franklin's grave simply reads "Benjamin and Deborah Franklin", and

the year of Franklin's death -"1790". However, at the age of 22, Ben had penned an epitaph

that more reflected his personality: "The body of B. Franklin, printer; (like the cover of an old

book, its contents worn out, and stripped of its lettering and gilding) lies here, food for worms.

But the work shall not be lost: For it will, (as he believed) appear once more, in a new and more

elegant edition, revised and corrected by the author."

A few Websites to help you learn more about Ben. - Fun activities

Brief history of Ben Franklin - Kids site on Ben Franklin - This site provides a listing a to z about Ben Franklin -

Site is about the Enlightened American, Ben Franklin

http// This site will give

you multiple live views of the area around the Benjamin Franklin Institute in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The views change about every 15 seconds

showing the area around the building. - This is the Web site for the Franklin Institute of Science.

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