One of the most iconic figures of America, Benjamin Franklin was a man with multiple talents and achievements. An inventor, publisher, leader, social worker, he was a man of ideas and great caliber. Besides, being of British origin, Benjamin Franklin was the 15th and last child of his father. But he rose on to become one of the founding founders of America.
Declared as the 89th richest man in American history by Forbes, Benjamin also had an international repute. He is also one of the only 2 non-presidents to feature on American currency notes. But how much do you know about this amazing personality? Come, let’s discover more!
Benjamin Franklin Facts
1. Franklin was the only founding father to sign all four agreements that gave America its independence.
It’s an open secret that Benjamin Franklin was one of the founding fathers of America. However, not many know, that he was the only one to sign all four agreements. The four agreements were Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of Paris, and the US Constitution in that order. Also, he was the oldest to sign the Declaration of Independence, which is an interesting fact about Benjamin Franklin.
2. He was the first to suggest the concept of Day Light Saving Time, though in light humor.
While serving as an ambassador to France, Franklin was once woken up at 6 am as the sun was shining bright in Paris. He mockingly retorted in one of his essays that Parisians must lay more focus on using the sunlight than candles to save money. You must also know that back then time was not standardized, and it’s an irony that he didn’t live in the era when daylight saving time came into being.
3. He designed a musical instrument that even Mozart and Beethoven were fond of.
Benjamin Franklin had a brilliant mind and his invention of glass armonica is one fine example, which is an interesting fact about Benjamin Franklin. Being an avid traveler as an ambassador, he noticed that many musicians made use of water-filled glasses to produce desired music. So he came up with the glass armonica, which turned out o be one of the most famous musical instruments of the 18th century. Additionally, it was also his own favorite invention.
4. His formal education was limited to only a couple of years
Despite being an inventor and world leader of his time, Franklin received only two years of formal education. As a kid, he attended School in Boston, Massachusetts from age 8 to 10, and that was it. The reason can be attributed to the fact that he had to work with his father in their soap and candle manufacturing shop. However, he never ceased to read by borrowing books from his friends.
5. Benjamin Franklin was a gifted writer
When Franklin was working for his brother James’s printing shop, his brother refused to publish his work. As a way out Franklin started publishing his work using the pseudonym Mrs. Silence Dogood. Soon enough, his writings gained accolades from the readers, which is an interesting Benjamin Franklin fact. His later works, published with his real name include Poor Richard’s Almanack, which he published for a quarter of a century. Do you know that ‘Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’ is Benjamin’s creation?
6. Benjamin was a prolific inventor but patented none of his inventions
With little to no formal education but a mind that craved knowledge, Benjamin has a number of inventions to his credit. His first invention, the Franklin Stove enhanced the efficiency of fuel. His other inventions include a Rocking chair, American penny and even bifocal lenses, which you or someone in your family might be wearing at the moment. He even created his own set of phonetics. But it’s interesting to note that he didn’t patent any of his inventions although it could have generated him huge wealth in return.
7. He was a hugely followed Fashion figure in France
Benjamin Franklin was already popular for his inventions and political charisma. But his years in France as an ambassador catapulted his popularity as a fashion icon. His plain attires coupled with fur hats became famous and featured and were portrayed in many French portraits of the time. Not just men, even women tried to emulate his fur hats by wearing oversized wigs. So even after his seventies, Benjamin had the power to set impressive fashion trends.
8. He was an abolitionist long before the civil war
Though Benjamin Franklin owned two slaves, almost all his life, in his last years he had a change of heart. He realized that the concept of slavery was boldly in contrast to what America was built for. He also filed a petition o the Congress, seeking freedom for slaves, but it was rejected. Yet, he never lost hope and continued campaigning for the cause. In fact, he also set a condition in his will, for his children to free their slaves in order to inherit his property.
9. He left a fortune for the cities of Boston and Philadelphia
Both cities were close to his heart. But what came as a little surprise, turned out to be the cause of immense wealth for the two cities. At the time of his demise in 1790, Benjamin left 2000 pound Sterlings for Boston and Philadelphia. However, as brilliant as he was, he laid a smart if’s and but’s in order to use the sum. As a result, the cities had above two million dollars each, an interesting fact about Benjamin Franklin.
10. He was a passionate swimmer and was inducted into International Swimming Hall of Fame posthumously
Benjamin had a die-hard love for swimming, such that he designed a pair of flippers for himself as a kid. Later, he also advocated that all schools must have swimming programs as a part of their curriculum. But not many know that he swam 3.5 miles stretch on the River Thames. This was claimed by the International Swimming Hall of Fame when they inducted him years after his last breath.
Such was the impact of this man, that he was termed as the only president of the US who was never a president. In fact, when he took his last breath in 1790, the French declared it a national day of mourning. And without any dispute, he was truly the ‘Rennaisance man of America’, as what the French called him as.
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