Benjamin FranklinBorn 17 Jan 1706
Benjamin Franklin was born on Jan. 17, 1706 in Massachusetts. At that time Massachusetts was still a colony of England. From a very young age he enjoyed experimenting and inventing and dreamed of going on adventures as a sailor. In 1718, as a twelve year old boy, he used a kite to pull himself across a small lake in Boston, Massachusetts.
Franklin worked unhappily in his fatherís business of candle making and later worked for his older brother James as an apprentice in a printing shop. Although he enjoyed work in his brotherís shop, young Franklin wanted to be a writer, but James said he was too young. In order for his brother to consider his work for print, Franklin wrote under an assumed name, tricking his brother into printing his work. After Franklin disclosed his identity to James, who was already jealous of the abilities of his younger brother, James began to mistreat Benjamin.
At age 17 Franklin escaped from his brother, settling in Philadelphia where he began work again in the printing business. After being married to Deborah Read, Franklin continued to write and invent. He published a monthly magazine entitled Poor Richardís Almanac and invented the Franklin Stove which sat inside a fireplace to send the heat out into the household rather than up the chimney.
Franklin later traveled to England to convince King George III and Parliament to treat the people of America fairly. He helped to have the Stamp Act repealed and upon returning to America assisted in writing the Declaration of Independence. After the war ended Franklin also helped to write the Constitution.
- The Franklin Institute - includes quick time movies, biography, and some great science activities.
- A nice Benjamin Franklin site by J.A. Leo LeMay
- Project Gutenberg - This is a copy of Ben Franklin's own letters to his son from the original text distributed by Project Gutenberg.