Happy Birthday, Mr. Franklin
I’ve admired Benjamin Franklin for a long time. He was one of our country’s founding fathers, and in my little world he’s the father of common sense (which is becoming increasingly uncommon in my opinion). I enjoyed his autobiography and learned a lot about and from him. Based on what we know of him, theologians would consider him a Deist.
Today is Benjamin Franklin’s birthday and this item about him is from The Writer’s Almanac, a little something I subscribe to. Happy Birthday, Mr. Franklin, thanks for all you brought to society.
It’s the birthday of founding father Benjamin Franklin. (books by this author) Though Philadelphia is regarded as his home, he was born in Boston on this day in 1706. Franklin had a natural curiosity about how things work. He spent much of his life searching for ways for people to live better. After he retired from the printing business in 1749, he turned his attention to science and inventions. He had already invented a safer, heat-efficient stove—called the Franklin stove—which he never patented because he created it for the good of society. He also established the first fire company and came up with the idea of fire insurance.
When he grew tired of taking off and putting on his glasses, Franklin had two pairs of spectacles cut in half and put half of each lens in a single frame, now called bifocals. His brother was plagued with kidney stones, so Franklin created a flexible urinary catheter to help him feel better. Among Franklin’s other inventions are swim fins, the glass armonica (a musical instrument), the odometer, and the lightning rod.
Franklin eventually retired from public service to spend his time reading and studying. He found, however, that his age left him unable to reach the high shelves in his library. He invented a tool called a “long arm”—a long wooden pole with a grasping claw at the end—to reach the books he wanted to read.
Benjamin Franklin said, “A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave.”