Benjamin Franklin Biography
Benjamin Franklin is best known for being one of the Founding Fathers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
What’s more, he was also a writer, newspaper publisher, scientist, and inventor. He invented many handy devices, such as a glass harmonica and bifocals (More info on those two later), as well as making electricity an official scientific field of study. Benjamin Franklin was born on the 19th of January, 1705 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was born in a small house on 17 Milk Street, across the street from the Old Meeting House. He was one of seventeen children born to Josiah Franklin, who was a soap and candle maker, and Abiah Folger, a homemaker.
His father, Josiah Franklin, moved from England in 1682. He had 7 kids with his first wife, who died. He later then married Abiah Folger and had 10 more kids, a total of 17 with Benjamin as the 15th and youngest son. His mother, Abiah Franklin (Folger) was the daughter of Peter Folger, who was one of the first settlers of New England.
When he was eight, young Benjamin started attending South Grammar School (Boston Latin) and showed early talent, moving from the middle to the top of the class within a year. The following year he attended George Brownell’s English School, a school for writing and arithmetic. He showed great talent for writing but very little for arithmetic. Young Benjamin loved reading, he acquires books from friends and saves every cent to buy books. When he was 16, he became a vegetarian because of 1. He didn’t like eating anything that was killed 2. To save money to buy more books. He read voraciously, trying to improve his writing style, grammar, and eloquence. His father planned for Benjamin to serve in church but he showed no inclination for it.
Unfortunately, he had to cut his education short as his family could no longer afford it. After his education ended at age 10, his father took him in as an apprentice in his soap and candle making shop. This shop was located at Hanover & Union streets, the building was torn down in 1858. Benjamin was in charge of cutting wicks for candles, filling molds, attending the shop and running errands. His father wanted his young son to inherit his business when he retired, however, Benjamin didn’t want to follow his father’s steps, he wanted to be a sailor.