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Benjamin Franklin: A Life in Review - Essay Example

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Though his father, Josiah, sent him to many tradesmen with the hopes of gaining Ben an apprenticeship, Benjamin was more interested in going to sea. Born in a small house, on a quaint street, the youngest son of five generations of youngest sons, Benjamin Franklin emerged from humble beginnings to become one of the most famous Americans in history (Eliot). Thesis Statement: Benjamin Franklin was the first American Renaissance Man, and he has become known worldwide as one of the greatest scientists, inventors, and leaders of all time.
Topic Sentence: After achieving a lot of success for his writings in Poor Richard's Almanac, Benjamin Franklin moved towards cultivating his scientific interests. Franklin's first step towards scientific fame occurred in 1743 when he composed an essay titled "A Proposal for Promoting Useful Knowledge." This led to the establishment of the American Philosophical Society, which was America's first scientific society (Lemay). The Library Company received a pamphlet in 1745 that described German experiments in electricity. Benjamin Franklin was eager to explore electricity, and with the help of his colleagues, he was able to prove that there is only one type of electricity. This concept became known as Franklin's law of the conservation of charge and is now considered a fundamental law of electricity. Franklin then suggested that lightning is an electrical phenomenon and proposed the lightning rod as a way to test his theory. Finding himself unable to build a lightning rod, Benjamin Franklin discovered a way to test his theory during a lightning storm in 1752. He decided to fly a kite connected by a hemp string that was attached to a Leyden jar (The Electric Ben Franklin). This device created an electrical charge, and when Benjamin Franklin saw the fibers of the string stand up, he knew that the kite had been electrified. The experiment was a resounding success, and Franklin's hard work paid off in a big way. This experiment catapulted Benjamin Franklin to the forefront of modern science, advanced his career and his fame, and was the first of many scientific contributions that Benjamin Franklin would make.
Topic Sentence: Incidentally, it was the Scientist in Benjamin Franklin that brought out the inventor. Franklin's natural curiosity in things and how they work inspired him to look for ways to make them work better. He had poor eyesight and relied on glasses in order to read, so he invented bifocals that would allow him to see both near and far without taking off his glasses. When his older brother John came down with kidney stones, Ben designed a flexible urinary catheter that was likely the first one ever produced in America (Chew). During his lifetime, Franklin made eight voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, and these journeys gave him plenty of time to learn about ships. In 1784, Benjamin Franklin suggested dividing ships' holds into watertight compartments to prevent them from sinking in case of a leak (Wikipedia). As a result of his scientific discoveries in electricity, Franklin invented the lightning rod to protect ships and buildings from lightning damage. In order to help colonial America heat their homes more efficiently, Benjamin Franklin invented ...Show more
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Summary

Attention Getter: Benjamin Franklin has become an iconoclastic symbol of what it means to be American. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 17, 1706, Benjamin Franklin proved to be an autodidactic individual from a very young age. At the age of eight, Benjamin's father enrolled him in school, but his formal education was short-lived due to financial strain and lack of resources…
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