Benjamin Franklin would be near the top of what could be a very short list of the most iconic Americans in history. He was uniquely multi-talented, and took those talents to the very peak of the world stage. Here are some interesting bits of information about him that you may not have known:
1. His first creative passion was poetry. It’s widely held that he stopped due to being unhappy with the quality of poetry that he produced. This would appear to be one of the only things he didn’t excel at.
2. Benjamin Franklin did not attend school past the age of ten. This was almost certainly due to colonial circumstances. He remained an avid reader throughout his life.
3. He lived his life by the 13 Virtues that he penned when he was twenty years old. He kept a notebook with tables containing the virtues, and the days of the week. He would make a mark in the correct field when he violated, or didn’t live up to, the said virtue. His goal was to make less markings as he went along.
Benjamin Franklin on a crisp hundred dollar bill.
4. Franklin co-founded a printing press with a friend in one of his first ventures. He was only twenty. Later, he would start the Pennsylvania Gazette, which was “generally acknowledged as among the best of the colonial newspapers…” Source
5. He helped set up a paper currency for Pennsylvania.
6. He was pivotal in helping to describe and elaborate on the new science of electricity.
7. He was an esteemed diplomat, and spent much of his later career in Britain and France.
8. During his time in France, he was regarded as a fashion icon. The French were enamored with the idea of America as “rustic frontiersman.” He capitalized on this by dressing plainly and wearing a fur hat during his time in Paris.
9. Upon returning to America, Benjamin Franklin became an abolitionist. In 1790, he penned a letter to Congress urging them to abolish slavery.