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Benjamin Franklin

The founding father whom I most admire is Benjamin Franklin. The 15th child and 10th son of Josiah Franklin and Abiah Folger, he was born January 17, 1706 in Boston. Although he only spent one year in school during that time he rose from the middle to the head of the class. After he left school he tried to continue his education by reading. At age 13 he took an apprenticeship as a printer with his oldest brother James. In 1731 he started what is believed to be the first public library in America. In 1932 under the pen name Richard Saunders, Franklin began publishing the Poor Richard s Almanac, which quickly gained a wide audience. In 1736 Franklin became clerk of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the next year was appointed deputy postmaster of Philadelphia. Around this time, he organized the first fire company in the city and introduced new methods for the improvement of street paving and lighting. In 1747 Franklin began his electrical experiments with a simple tool that he received from Peter Collinson in England. He advanced the theory of the Leyden jar, supported the hypothesis that lightning is an electrical phenomenon, and proposed an effective method of demonstrating this fact. His plan was published in London and carried out in England and France before he himself performed his kite experiment in 1752. He invented the lightning rod and offered what is called the “one-fluid” theory in explanation of positive and negative electricity. In recognition of his impressive scientific accomplishments, Franklin received honorary degrees from the University of Saint Andrews and the University of Oxford. In 1753, was awarded its Copley Medal for distinguished contributions to experimental science. Along with this, Franklin was a diplomat. He was a member of the first Continental Congress and a Colonial Agent to England. He was later elected to the second Continental Congress as the oldest member. His contributions to the United States not only as a diplomat but also as a printer, philosopher, and scientist greatly advanced our country.


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