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.

Enjoy –

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.”


4 Replies to “Happy Birthday, Mr. Franklin”

  1. annkroeker

    How many people today would give up the patent of something they could make money on or “own,” in order to give it away for the good of society?

    Reminds me of that 1997 movie with Val Kilmer about a female scientist who had unlocked the scientific mystery behind cold fusion energy. Bad guys wanted it to make their gazillions, and she wanted to confirm it and then present it to the world, a gift to humanity, free energy for all….

    On a very, very small scale, I think a lot of bloggers are starting to just give away ideas and words that they otherwise might be paid for.

    At least, some are. I think you are to those in ministry, especially.

    And I thank you for that.

  2. Phil

    Thanks for your kind words, Ann,

    When I remember that the best gift ever -salvation- is absolutely, totally, completely free, it’s hard to be selfish.

    When I remember what Paul told his protege Timothy. “What you’ve learned from me, pass on to others…” (2 Tim. 2.2) the case for sharing what one knows grows ever stronger.

    I like what Steven Covey said (I forget which book, maybe 7 Habits?) My candle doesn’t have to go out so yours can burn brightly.

    Benjamin Franklin thought that way too; one of the reasons I admire him.

    Great to see you’ve been by, stop in anytime!

    Phil —

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