Franklin: Man who Changed History

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The man who caught lightning in a bottle, was called a wizard or a magician but he goes by the name Benjamin Franklin. He was born January 17, 1706 born in a house on milk street in Boston Massachusetts. He was born to a large family of seventeen kids and two parents, he was number fifteen. Four of the kids in his family died at a young age. His parent were Josiah and Abiah, they were not that rich (Fradin 13).

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Josiah Franklin ran a shop called Blue Bull and Franklin would make soap and candles for the shop. Ben often had to share a bed with a brother or two. Franklinr’s parents wanted him to become a minister (Fradin 13, 14). Franklin already had two strikes against him on being a minister, he was born on a sunday and he was left handed, those were signs of the devil. His father would punish him if he caught him writing with his left hand (Fradin 14). He ran away from home because he was beaten by his father. He often lived far away from his wife and had fight over politics with his son William. Franklin was claimed to have magical powers for what he did (Fradin 2). He helped free the United States of America from England (Fradin 1, 12).

He was a scientist who discovered the nature of lightning, he also invented things such as the lighting rod and bifocal glasses. He wrote a book about his experiences and started one of Americar’s first libraries. He began the first general hospital and created the United States postal service (Fradin 1, 2). Benjamin Franklin was out of the ordinary for his creativity, catching lighting with a bottle and being a rebel.

Even though Franklin was very busy he was always creative when it came to things. Franklinr’s house was very busy when Deborahr’s mom, sister, and brother lived with them. Franklin ran a printing office right out of one part of his house. Deborah was busy raising William and a boy who worked with Franklin also lived in the house (Fish 29). Franklin did more than just print, he sold iron stoves, soap cakes, quill pens, ink, paper, cheese, books, and tea. He loaned money to poor people and he loved reading. He wanted to read more books and wanted others to read more too (Fish 29). In 1732 he started a library and published an almanac. His almanac was different from others, his had jokes and wise sayings. He named his almanac Poor Richard’s Almanac (Fish 30). On October 20 Franklin had a son named Francis Folger. When Francis was four he died of smallpox. Franklin did all he could but he died on November 4, 1736 (Fish 30, 32).

The next year he learned multiple languages, he learned French, Spanish, Italian, German. Franklin left Deborah in charge of his business and went to New England for several weeks. He visited his family in Boston and went to see his brother James because James ran away when he was young (Fish 31). James was dying and Franklin took care of Jamesr’s son. In Philadelphia fire was a huge problem. Franklin printed a paper telling people to be careful when cleaning chimneys (Fish 31,32). Houses still caught on fire to matter how careful people were. Franklin proposed an idea about a fire department and people agreed. Thirty men offered to fight fires for free (Fish 33). Soon the city of Philadelphia was known for how fast they put out fires. Franklin worked hard on getting a better police because the men who guarded the city at night were often drunk. The city hired and trained night watchmen (Fish 33). Ben was named clerk of Pennsylvania Assembly, which made laws for Pennsylvania. Ben loved writing laws for his state (Fish 33). In 1737 he became a postmaster for the mail route stretched from Boston to South Carolina. Ben was always busy trying to make Philadelphia a better place (Fish 34). Franklinr’s creativity lead him to catch lightning in a bottle.

On June 1752 in Philadelphia a storm approached the city, everyone ran inside except Franklin and his son William. They lived in a house on Race and Second Street, Franklin was forty-six and his son was twenty-one. William picked up the kite that Franklin created just for that day (Fradin 3, 4). The kite had a metal wire sticking out of the top of the kite with a house key at the bottom of the string. Franklin had a jar under his coat then the pair dashed through the rain. They ran for a while then stopped at a field, William had to run across the field three times before the kite took flight (Fradin 5). When the kite took flight Franklin took the kite immediately from William. They ran to a shed and waited for the lightning to come. The pair was both excited and scared when Franklin held the string (Fradin 5). With the help of William the pair was answering the age old question is lightning and electricity the same thing. Franklin believed the electricity in thunderclouds could cause lightning. The metal wire at the top of the kite would attract the lightning, then the lightning would run down the wire to the metal key trapping the electricity in a bottle (Fradin 6). The experiment was super dangerous because at any time the lightning could kill them both. The lightning flashed nearner so Franklin touched the key to see a spark but there was nothing. Finally the storm was overhead and suddenly they both held their breath (Fradin 6).

A black cloud swallowed the cloud and Franklin touched the key, nothing. Suddenly he felt a tingle, shocks like the ones from his lab. A spark zoomed down the string and with each others help they proved lightning was electricity (Fradin 7). The pair was not done, Franklin took out the bottle from under his coat. The jar was a Leyden Jar built and used to store electricity. Franklin pressed the key to the bottle and the lightning flowed into the jar, then they reeled the kite in (Fradin 8). News had spread fast and Franklin became famous for catching lightning in a bottle. He was not satisfied just yet, he wanted to make electricity less dangerous. He invented a lightning rod, it was a metal rod that was fixed at a top of a building (Fradin 9). At the end of 1752 multiple buildings used a lightning rods and Franklin became a famous inventor. He was showed with medal and called a wizard. His friends laughed at such talk and Franklin knew he was no wizard just brilliant (Fradin 10, 11). From catching lightning to being an inventor he was soon to believe he was a rebel too.

When Franklin thought something was write he fought till the end. By Christmas 1764 Franklin was in London, when England had a new king, King George III. He believed the young monarch would be sympathetic and Franklin ended up staying in England for ten years. Franklin had barely been back at home when the British Parliament had passed the Stamp Act (Freedman 40). The colonists would now have to buy British Stamps, which they did not object too. Later riots ended up breaking out because of the Stamp Act. Demonstrators threatened to seize and destroy the hated taxed stamps (Freedman 40). The day the Stamp Act took effect not a single American tax collector was in business. In London, Franklin put all his effort into trying to get the Stamp Act repealed. He was busy at all hours talking with members of the Parliament (Freedman 41). He never stopped trying to repeal the Act, he started putting articles in the newspaper. He always argued that his country men would never accept the Act. He prepared for a long time because he knew that he was going to be summoned to appear before the British House (Freedman 41). Franklin answered a total of one hundred seventy-four questions and he was on his feet for four hours. Forty other people were called to testify and Americans gave Franklin credit for bring about the repeal all by himself. He was now recognized in England as Americar’s spokesperson (Freedman 42).

Franklin was out of the ordinary because of his creativity, catching lightning in a bottle and being a rebel. Sadly he died on April 17, 1790 as a founding father of America. When he was a founding father he drafted the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. He also negotiated the Treaty of Paris in 1783 (Biography). In his life he wanted to eliminate the letters C, J, Q, W, X, and Y. He also educated himself which earned him degrees from top notch colleges. He died from gout and had complained of ailments for a long time (Biography). He has come down though history, along with the likeness of the one hundred dollar bill. At his funeral there was about twenty thousand people who attended. Franklin still remains one of the most celebrated figures in US history (Biography, History).

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Franklin: Man Who Changed History. (2019, Jun 14). Retrieved November 29, 2022 , from

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