10. Franklin Received An Induction Into The Chess Hall Of Fame
Benjamin Franklin became a pioneer in many areas of everyday life. Other than creating the first swim fin, Franklin also became known as a great Chess player. In fact, Franklin had a strong passion for the game of Chess and received an induction into the United States Chess Hall of Fame in 1999. Historians came to find that while the game was not popular in Franklin’s time, he often made it popular wherever he lived at the time.
Benjamin Franklin only received two years of formal education, from the ages of eight to ten, before his father, Josiah, pulled him out of school to begin working in the family’s soap business. However, this did not stop Benjamin Franklin from becoming one of the most significant historical figures in United States history. It also did not stop colleges, such as Yale University, England’s Oxford University, William and Mary, and Harvard University, from awarding Benjamin Franklin with Honorary college degrees.
Benjamin Franklin tried to live the best life he could. Every day, Franklin would work to be a better person than he was the day before. In order to help himself in his quest, around the age of 20, Franklin created a list of 13 virtues. Every day, Franklin would pick an attribute and work on acting it out the best way he could. In his mind, Franklin believed that these virtues would lead him to become the best person he could be.
7. Benjamin Franklin Started The First Volunteer Fire Department
As stated before, Benjamin Franklin wrote about anything he felt or believed people could improve on. One of these issues was the need for better fire protection. Through a series of articles, he wrote and published in the Pennsylvania Gazette, Franklin discussed the idea of better fire protection, and soon others came into action to help with this idea. Together, this group of people established the Union Fire Company of Pennsylvania in December of 1736, which makes this the first volunteer fire department. Over time, the fire department also became known as Benjamin Franklin’s Bucket Brigade.
It seems that nearly everything Benjamin Franklin did in his life, he succeeded. This concept is even real when it came down to fashion. While Benjamin Franklin wore the same types of suits that many other men of his day and social class wore, he became known as a fashion icon in France. This idea was especially true when Franklin would wear his plain American clothes with a rustic fur hat. This look especially caught on for women of the time, and soon they were wearing fur hats wherever they went.
Franklin lived in London for nearly 20 years while he was an ambassador for America. During this time, Franklin lived in a home which was renovated by the Friends of Benjamin Franklin House in 1998. The plan was to restore the house so it could become a museum. While this house is now a museum, during renovation contractors found more than 1,000 human bones in the basement. Of course, this secret was taken to the grave by Franklin so we may never know exactly why but some believe it was because Franklin was into the anatomy.
4. Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography Is Still The Most Popular Book In Its Genre
Benjamin Franklin started writing his autobiography early in his life. He would work on a little bit here and there and then not touch it for years. However, in 1771, Benjamin Franklin realized he was getting old and began to work nearly around the clock to get his autobiography completed. While he did finish his autobiography years before his death but never published it in his lifetime, today, Franklin’s autobiography is a classic piece of literature in its genre and still a top-rated book.
Like with most people of his time, Benjamin Franklin enjoyed going to see shows. During his time, he saw many plays in theaters and opera houses. However, one performance in 1781 would almost cause his death. As Benjamin Franklin was enjoying the show with the rest of the crowd, a fire started in the theater. Of course, it became chaos as people were trying to leave and Franklin, along with many others, barely escaped the burning building, which was destroyed by the fire.
Benjamin Franklin not only started the first volunteer fire department in Pennsylvania, but he also started the first lending library. In 1731, Benjamin Franklin founded the Library Company of Philadelphia. This library was a bit different than what we know of libraries today, but it did create the foundation for the modern-day free public libraries. Franklin not only served as a librarian for the library, but he also served as the library’s secretary from 1746 until 1757.
First lending library known as the Library Company of Philadelphia by Charles Mills murals. Benjamin Franklin History.
1. Franklin Created An Arm To Reach Books
Throughout his life, Benjamin Franklin had a love for books and what would become known as libraries. While Benjamin Franklin was not a short person, his height was about 5 feet, 9 inches; he still had trouble reaching books that were on the top shelves. Therefore, Franklin did what he knew to do and invented contraception which would help him reach these books. Franklin invented a mechanical arm which someone could wear that would allow them to help get the books on the top shelves.
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