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WHO: BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

1706-1790

He is considered to be one of the greatest Americans that ever lived.

He was the only person to sign the four key documents of American History: The Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of Peace with Great Britain, and the Constitution of the United States.

By serving as a diplomat in France and gaining France's help, he contributed greatly to winning the Revolutionary War.

His newspaper, the "Pennsylvania Gazette," was one of the most successful papers in the colonies. He was the first editor to publish a newspaper cartoon and to use maps to illustrate a story.

He became Philadelphia's postmaster in 1737. The British government was so impressed by his efficiency that they made him deputy postmaster general for all of the colonies in 1753.

He founded a city hospital, organized a fire department, helped found what eventually became the University of Pennsylvania, established a professional organization for scholars called the American Philosophical Society, and helped establish the first subscription library in the American colonies.

His inventions include, electricity, the Franklin stove, bifocal lenses, the lightning rod. His scientific studies promoted an understanding of the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean and he encouraged "daylight-saving" time in summer. He did not patent any of his inventions or use them for profit, preferring to give them to the world for everyone's comfort and convenience.

He wrote and published the yearly almanac, "Poor Richard's Almanac" for twenty-five years.



Benjamin Franklin


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