Ben Franklin Essay, Research Paper
I. Personal Life
d. Early jobs
II. Time in Philadelphia
IV. Scientific Discoveries
b. Light bulb
Ben Franklin, in recent times, has been looked upon as a scientist and a humanitarian. He was such an influence. He was the all over man of American History. Ben concurred all of his goals with an exceptional range of even more accomplishments (Donavan.p.7).
Ben Franklin was born on a snowy, January morning in the year 1706. Baby Ben had sixteen brothers and sisters; of these, only thirteen lived. Ben was the fifteenth son of his mother, Josiah and father, Abiah. Franklin s mother was an original house wife-she cooked and she cleaned (Davidson.p.9). By the age of five, Ben knew how to take care of himself. Unlike all of his brothers and sisters, he really did not mind. Ben played all the time, and he loved flying kites and climbing trees. Ben went to school for two full years of his life. He studied Latin, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Young Ben loved to read. He could never put his book down (Usel.p.5). When Franklin was around twelve years of age, he helped his father make soap and candles; however, he hated working with his father because he would work twelve to fourteen hours a day. He really wanted to become a sailor. Ben s father was very afraid that his son would runaway and become a sailor (Usel.p.7). Ben was the most responsible of all his brothers and sisters with his work. He actually cared if he could read and write. He wanted to be more than a candle maker; he wanted to make something of himself. And he did, indeed, make something of himself (Anderson.p.18). Also in young Franklin s life, he loved to swim. So he decided to invent a pair of swimming aids for his hands. They helped him move across the pond faster and easier. Next, he made these sandal like flippers for his feet (Donavan.p.17). One day, Franklin put on his sandals that he had invented, held onto a kite, and glided across a mile wide pond on his back (Donavan.p.13). He loved to ride in boats, but since he was so small it was difficult. So he decided to invent something so he could row more easily. The young scientist was under way (Anderson.p.20).
Franklin and his family lived in Boston, which is a major seaport town, so he was always in the water. Young Ben spent most of his time at the dock with his friends in Boston. He would have stayed all the time, but he had to go to school; even though, he did not go everyday. He made and thought of many devices to help him in his everyday life (Davidson.p.10). One day, he spent the entire afternoon at the dock. His father thought that he ran off to the sea. So when he came home that night, his father sent him to live with his twenty-one year old brother, James. A formal contract of apprenticeship was drawn up. The documents brought Ben to serve his brother with whatever his brother needed. It also included keeping all secrets. The contract still stands and continues today (Donavan.p.17).
Franklin is and was a semi-genius. He was very successful and matched his goals (Usel.p.5). Franklin loved to read anything that he could get his hands on. Any time you saw him, He had a book in his hands. Every night, Franklin would sneak out, break into a library, take some books, read them, and return them before the owner got there. Through all of the years, the owned never knew. In 1721, Ben s older brother James began his own newspaper business call The New England . It had interesting things about people who lived there. One afternoon, Ben s brother found a letter that was slipped under the door. The letter was signed Mrs. Silence Dogood. James printed the letter, and the readers loved it. More of Mrs. Dogood s letters mysteriously appeared in his shop, and James printed them all. Mrs. Silence Dogood was actually Ben at age seventeen. After that, Franklin became a published writer (Usel.p.9). Then he became a master printer, and he was expected to whip Keimer s Business (Donavan.p.30).
Franklin loved his job, but he did not like working for his brother. At seventeen years of age, he decided to run away to Philadelphia. He arrived and went to a bakery where everything smelled so good. He asked for three pennies worth of bread. Prices in Philadelphia were a lot cheaper so he got three big loaves instead. He was walking down the street with on loaf of bread under one arm, the second loaf of bread under the other arm, while he ate the third one. When he passed through town, he saw a pretty, blonde haired lady standing outside a door. Her name was Deborah. Nobody knew that he would soon marry her.
While he was in Philadelphia, he became another printer. Shortly after that, Deborah and Ben were married. Although they were often apart, their hearts were inseparable. Ben wrote to her all the time, and the letters were always headed to My Dear Debbie (Usel.p.11). Once when Franklin was off on a trip, he met a man who owned a candle making business. The man offered him major wages, and he gladly accepted. Shortly after Ben started working, the man died, and Franklin was free to go back to printing (Donavan.p.30). A few years later when Franklin was twenty-two, he opened a print shop where Debbie often helped him. He printed the major newspaper called The Pennsylvania Gazette . He ran off stuff about the people of the colony and also much more. He also ran off Poor Richard s Almanac , which except for the Bible, was a best seller (Usel.p.13). As Franklin approached the mid point of his life in 1744, he took a trip to Boston. While he was there, he met the engaging Dr. Archibald Spencer. Dr. Spencer was a physician and a lecturer on national philosophy. He used electrical experiment s to illustrate his talks. Franklin saw some of these experiments, and his inquiring mind took off. Ben decided in 1748, at the age of forty-two, to retire from business in order to read, study, and do more experiments. He was hoping to devote most of his time to the study of electricity (Donavan.p.55). After all that, he decided to get into politics. One day, he woke up with an idea, and it was the basis of the future. Then he wanted to bring the thirteen colonies together under one government (Usel.p.17). After that, he spent many years in England trying to keep peace between the king and the colonists, but it was to no use. Later in 1775, he sailed back home, and then the Revolutionary War began. On July 4th, 1776, Ben signed the Declaration of Independence (Usel.p.19). During the war, Franklin drew a gruesome cartoon and distributed it to the thirteen colonies and England. In the picture, it shows Great Britain apart from her four limbs. The limbs were labeled New York, New England, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The cartoon also had ships in the background with brooms on top (Donavan.p.104). The day George Washington signed the United States Constitution was on September 17, 1778. He watched bright-eyed and said, My plan came alive (Donavan.p.142-143). People who lived during the Revolutionary War said, Ben Franklin is regarded as the father of our country, even more so than Washington. Ben Franklin stood out among the founding fathers . He was the only person who signed all four documents concerning our nation s birth (Donavan.p.7). On the other side of the ocean, a growing number of men were calling the Revolutionary War the only means of obtaining their rights-men such as Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and the many members of the Anti-British Sons of Liberty (Donavan.p.102). During the Revolutionary War, Ben secretly sailed to France. If the British had caught him, they would have hung him by the neck for being a traitor (Usel.p.7). This was a difficult period of time in Franklin s life. He was a philosopher of reason, but still he was caught between two forces of unreason-King George III and his stubborn ministers. It was like moving a red cloth in front of a bull (Donavan.p.102). For the rest of Franklin s life, he turned his attention to science. He loved to figure out how and why things worked. He also loved to solve problems about the world. He invented many different things such as the fireplace and the stove. He also invented bifocals so he could see things up close and things far away without having to change glasses. He liked the new science of electricity. His almost famous kite and key idea was shortly on its way. He wanted to know if lightning was a form of electricity. So he could prove it, he and his son William got a kite and tied a key to the end and flew it. He got a pretty bad shock, but he lived to tell the story (Usel.p.15). He spent more money than he had on inventions. He spent so much, that he had no money for a train ticket. A merchant in a store gave him some money. The merchant also loved his work, and he would give Ben major money to do work for him (Donavan.p.30). Among Franklin s inventions, outside the field of electricity, are the ingenious devices that he made (Donavan.p.56). At the end of the last century, Franklin s reputation had changed. He was now regarded as the great American moralist. Mark Twain wrote that as a boy he had to bite soap (Donavan.p.7).
Ben had a daughter, Sally and two sons, Francis and William. Little Francis died at the age of four due to smallpox. Later, on April 17, 1790, Franklin died at the age of eighty-four (Usel.p.21). Ben was born, as was our country, in the independence minded age when a young boy of industry could runaway and become a hero, a business, and a statesman (Donavan.p.35).