Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 17, 1706. He was the
youngest son in a family of seventeen. His father was a salesman of candles and soap.
Because the Franklin family was poor, Ben wasn’t able to get much education. When he was
ten years old, his father took him out of school and taught him the soap and candle business.
However, Benjamin disliked the trade. Two years later, Ben was apprenticed to his brother who
was a printer and publisher of The New England Courant. He became a very good printer.
While he was apprenticed, he had frequent arguments with his brother. In 1723 he left his
brother and went to New York City and then to Philadelphia.
When he got to Philadelphia, he got a job in the print shop of Samuel Keimer. Soon the
governor of Pennsylvania, who was Sir William Keith, took an interest in young Benjamin. He
promised to back Franklin in his own printing business and sent Ben to England to get a printing
press. The governor didn’t keep his promise and Franklin was stranded in England. Franklin
spent a year and a half in England and worked in a few different printing houses. He returned
to Philadelphia and soon was back in the printing business.
In 1728, Franklin and a partner, Hugh Meredith, opened their own print shop. They
printed a newspaper called The Pennsylvania Gazette.
He married Deborah Read in 1730. They had three children, two boys and one girt.
One of Franklin’s sons later became governor of New Jersey.
He worked as a printer from 1730-1748 and was successful. He became the official
printer of Pennsylvania, then New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. During this time, he
published “Poor Richard’s Almanack”. It was a very popular book that had the weather
forecasts for the year as well as jokes and proverbs. He published it under the name of Richard
Franklin continued to study things such as science and foreign languages. He
organized a debate club that became known as the American Philosophical Society. As a
result of this club, Franklin started the first public library.
Ben Franklin was interested in the welfare of the citizens of the city of Philadelphia. He
organized the first volunteer Fire Department. He invented a fire truck which was actually a
cart with two hoses, one that went into the water and the other hose was held by a few people
at the nozzle. Two to four people pumped the engine. He organized the first hospital in

In 1753 Franklin was made deputy postmaster general for all the colonies. He made the postal
service make money and operate effectively.
Ben Franklin was an inventor. One of the most famous invention that he made was the
Franklin stove. At that time, homes were drafty due to fireplaces that were not efficient. The
stove that Franklin invented had a grate that stuck out into the room to be heated and
radiated warmth in more directions. Franklin wanted his stove to be affordable by all people
to be able to heat their homes.
Even though Franklin was well known for his inventions, his most famous work was done
in the field of electricity. On a stormy night, Franklin took a kite and tied a key onto it. He flew
the kite into the storm clouds and brought an electrical charge down the wet strings of the kite.
He touched the key and saw an electric spark. This proved that lightning was electricity. This
led to other experiments with electricity and to a book about electricity. He won many awards
for his work in the field of electricity
Long before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin worked hard to try to bond the
colonies together. As the French and Indian War came near, Franklin was chosen as a
delegate from Pennsylvania to the Albany Congress of 1745. He proposed the Albany Plan of
Union which was a plan for unity of the colonies. The delegates approved the plan but the
colonial legislatures and the British government didn’t accept it.
In 1755 Franklin became a colonel in the local militia. He stayed with his troop during
the winter of 1755 and 1756 while getting them ready for combat and preparing defenses.
Benjamin Franklin was sent to England in 1757 to represent Pennsylvania to try to
persuade the sons of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, to pay their share of the
expenses of the French and Indian War. He was received in England with praise and was