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Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston. He assisted his father, a tallow chandler and soap boiler, in his business from 1716 to 1718. He was then an apprenticed to his brother James, a printer, from 1718-23. Franklin then came to Philadelphia in 1723, where he worked for the printer Sam Keimer until he went to London to continue learning his trade in 1724-26. He thereupon returned to Philadelphia and became an independent printer in 1730, and was noted for his publications, especially Poor Richard's Almanack. In 1736 he was chosen clerk of the Assembly, which he held until 1751. In 1737 he was made postmaster at Philadelphia. Later in 1754 he was sent to the Albany Convention where he submitted a plan for colonial unity. He provisioned Braddock's army and in 1756 was put in charge o f the northwestern frontier of the province by the Governor. Twice he was sent to London as agent for the Assembly, 1757-62 and 1764-75. With the outbreak of the Revolution, he was sent as Commissioner to France, 1776-85, and in 1781 was on the commission to make peace with Great Britain.

Franklinís Importance to the Industrial Revolution however, was that he had a theory that lighting was an electric phenomenon. He started working with his electrical experiments in 1747. He started it with a simple gadget he got from an Englishman. Franklin later proposed to prove his theory that lighting was an electrical phenomenon. His plan was then published in London, then in France. After Franklin studied his theory a little more, he carried out his celebrated kite experiment in 1752. He then invented the lightning rod in late 1752. With this invention many buildings were protected from lightning. He became an honorable member of the Royal Society of London. He became a member of the Society because he improved natural knowledge. He also received the Copley Medal from the Society. He got the Copley Medal for his distinguished contribution to experimental science.






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