Benjamin Franklin is one of the major figures of American history. An outstanding writer, inventor, politician, ambassador, founder, and father played a variety of roles throughout his life. Here are some amazing Facts About Benjamin Franklin!
Did you know that He was the first person to come up with an idea similar to Daylight Saving Time? He also invented an instrument for music that Beethoven and Mozart were so fond of that they composed the music to accompany it?
Scroll down to learn more about American history’s “Renaissance person.”
Franklin’s Daylight Saving Time-inspired concept was born as a funny idea to the French.
The reception of Benjamin Franklin at the Court of France in 1778. Getty Images, Fine Art, and Heritage Images.
Benjamin Franklin is not credited with inventing the concept we call Daylight Saving Time. Still, Franklin did come up with an incredibly similar argument to altering sleep schedules and was the first to develop the idea.
In 1784, while Franklin was age 78 and working as an ambassador to France, the French, he was a bit uneasy when he was awakened from his summer sleep around 6 a.m. Because of this, Franklin penned one of his famous satirical pieces, suggesting that Parisians who awoke early could save money by “the benefits of using sunlight rather than candles.”
However, Franklin was born when it was still not standardized, which meant there was no means to implement his idea. When Europe was standardized at the beginning of the 1800s, Englishman William Willett was the first to lead the campaign to create what we are Daylight Saving Time.
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Benjamin Franklin only had two years of formal schooling.
Portrait of Benjamin Franklin, circa 1750. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
In our day and age, it’s difficult to believe that a world-renowned thought leader like Franklin has never even stepped foot inside the classroom.
Franklin was eight years old on the day he began attending the South Grammar School (Boston Latin) in Boston, Massachusetts. He transferred over to George Brownell’s English School, specializing in writing and arithmetic, the following year.
At the age of 10 years old, Franklin began his apprenticeship at his father’s soap and candle-making business that ended his formal schooling. But he continued to be an avid reader and writer by borrowing books from his family and friends and, later, apprenticing at his brother’s printing workshop.
Franklin invented the “glass armonica,” an instrument for music that Mozart and Beethoven loved.
A glass armonica was built using Franklin’s original design. Wikimedia Commons
As a delegate in London in France, Franklin noticed that musicians used glasses of various sizes to produce sound. He was fascinated and began to design an instrument to reproduce the sound made by the glass being sprayed with water.
In 1761, the first version of HTML0 was completed. The glass instrument of Franklin (“armonica” is derived originated from”armonica,” which is an Italian term “Armonia,” which means “harmony”) utilizes glass cups of various dimensions and densities to create diverse notes. The invention would later be one of the top sought-after instruments in the 18th century, and composers such as Beethoven and Mozart even composed music for it.
Franklin spoke about his invention, “Of all my inventions, the glass armonica is the one that has brought me the most satisfaction for me.”
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He invented his own alphabetic phonetic in 1768.
Franklin wrote an example letter in his phonetic alphabet derived from Franklin’s correspondence. Wikimedia Commons
Franklin created an alphabet that was phonetic in 1768. However, it was published in 1789, after Noah Webster included it in his book “Dissertations about the English Language. “
The alphabet of Franklin was created to “have an order that was more natural” compared to the conventional English alphabet and put the accent on spelling according to vocal and sound. If the Franklin alphabet were implemented and not discarded, it was not using the letter C, J, Q, W, X, and Y. Franklin considered it confusing and unnecessary.
Posthumously, he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Benjamin Franklin was passionate about swimming. Alexander Hassenstein/Getty
Franklin was a long-time swimmer. He even created himself a pair of flippers as an infant.
In the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Franklin swam a Thames River excursion in 1726 that stretched 3.5 miles from Chelsea to Blackfriars. He was a long-time instructor, advocated for swimming, and often suggested that schools implement swimming programs.
To this end, Franklin became posthumously admitted into the Hall of Fame in 1968.
He was the sole founder father who signed all the four documents the US was using to get its independence.
The United States’ signed founding fathers signed their names to the Declaration of Independence. Wikimedia
It’s not a fact. It’s no secret that Benjamin Franklin is one of the nation’s founding fathers, But Benjamin Franklin was the only person to sign the four documents that were used in the process of gaining the country’s independence from Britain. The documents included The Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Treaty of Alliance with France in 1778, The Treaty of Paris in 1783, and the US Constitution in 1787.
And to top it off, Franklin was also one of the oldest signers of the Declaration of Independence, and he also gave the title of “John Hancock” when he was 70 years old.
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Despite his prolific inventions, however, he did not patent his invention.
Franklin’s bifocals are on display at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Wikimedia Commons
Franklin could have gotten financial (and legal) recognition for all the amazing ideas of his time, yet Franklin never applied for an invention patent for one idea he came up with.
According to PBS, the idea was contrary to his beliefs. Franklin said, “As we benefit from the innovations that others have, we ought to be happy to contribute the ones we have developed… openly and with joy.”
Some of his incredible innovations comprise street light fixtures, swimming fins, bifocal sunglasses (which are seen in nearly every photo), and the stove.
The pseudonym he used was “Mrs. Silence Dogood.”
Ben Franklin’s Silence Dogood III essay appeared in The New England Courant, published between 1721 and 1726. Wikimedia Commons
To submit his name to the rebellious publication the New England Courant, Franklin employed a false name for his wife: Mrs. Silence Dogood.
Franklin was only 16 when he first began writing his first essay as Dogood at the time, and it was then that Dogood submitted his first article to the Courant — a daily run by his sister, James Franklin. The clever and witty pieces were about topics like “the proudness of dressing” and “religious hypocrisy,” They were an enormous success in Boston in the early days.
Although James knew that “Mrs. Silence Dogood” was a pseudonym, he was unaware of the idea that his younger brother was writing the entries. He was reported to have been angry after learning the information, which caused a split between the brothers.