Benjamin Franklin

Get to know one our greatest Founding Fathers

Words of Wit and Wisdom

Franklin's quotes and sayings have become famous for their wit, wisdom and practicality. He was known for his ability to convey complex ideas in simple, direct, and memorable ways.

  •  "You may delay, but time will not."
  • "The things which hurt, instruct."
  • "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."
  • "He that can have patience can have what he will."
  • "If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing."
  • "The best of all medicines is resting and fasting."
  • "Speak little, do much"
  • "To find out a girl's faults, praise her to her girl friends."
  • "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
  • "A long tongue is a sign of a short hand"
  • "He that lives upon hope will die fasting"
  • "A true friend is the best possession"
  • "He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else"
  • "Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead"
  • "The doors of wisdom are never shut"

Inventions

Benjamin Franklin was a prolific inventor and he created many devices and machines that were practical, innovative and improved the lives of many people in his time. Here are a few of his famous inventions:

  • The Glass Armonica: Franklin invented the Glass Armonica, a musical instrument made of glass bowls that were played by rubbing them with wet fingers. It became popular in Europe and America and was played by some of the most famous musicians of the time.
  • The Lightning Rod: Franklin's famous kite experiment in 1752, proved that lightning is electricity and in order to protect buildings from being struck by lightning, he invented the lightning rod, a metal rod that would conduct the electricity of a lightning strike safely into the ground.
  • The Franklin Stove: The Franklin Stove was a type of metal-lined fireplace that was more efficient than traditional fireplaces, it provided more heat and used less fuel.
  • The Flexible Urethral Catheter: Franklin invented a flexible catheter, which was used to relieve the symptoms of bladder blockages, it was made of metal and was bendable, which made it more comfortable for the patient.
  • The Bifocals: Franklin invented bifocals, a type of eyeglasses with two different prescriptions in one lens, one for near-sightedness and one for far-sightedness. He made them as he was tired of switching glasses during reading and working.
  • The Odometer: Franklin also invented an odometer, a device that attaches to the wheel of a vehicle and measures the distance traveled.

Did you know?

Franklin had an interesting life full of twists and turns.


  • Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 17, 1706, the 15th of 17 children.
  • Franklin's father, Josiah Franklin, was a candle and soap maker, and Franklin began working in his father's shop at the age of 10.
  • At the age of 12, Franklin was taken out of school and began working as an apprentice to his older brother James, a printer. He worked with James for several years, and during this time, he developed his skills as a writer and began publishing his own writing under the pseudonym "Silence Dogood."
  • In 1723, at the age of 17, Franklin ran away from his apprenticeship and moved to Philadelphia. He found work as a printer and quickly established himself as a skilled and respected printer and publisher.
  • In 1728, Franklin started his own newspaper, "The Pennsylvania Gazette." The paper quickly became one of the most successful in the colonies, and Franklin used it as a platform to express his political and social views.
  • Franklin also became involved in civic and community organizations, including the Junto, a group of young men who met regularly to discuss and debate political and philosophical issues.
  • In 1730, Franklin married Deborah Read and they had one son, William Franklin.
  • Throughout his early life, Franklin was a voracious reader and self-educated himself in many fields. He studied mathematics, science, literature, and history, and he was known for his wide-ranging knowledge and curiosity.
  • Franklin's early life was marked by hard work, determination, and a desire to improve himself and his community. These traits would serve him well throughout his life and would ultimately lead to his many accomplishments and contributions to science, politics, and society.
  • Franklin is best known for his experiments with electricity. He conducted many groundbreaking experiments, including his famous kite experiment in 1752, in which he proved that lightning is a form of electricity.
  • Franklin was also a successful inventor and businessman. He invented a number of practical devices, including the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove. He also established the first public lending library in America, as well as the first fire department in Philadelphia.
  • Franklin was deeply involved in politics, both in his home city of Philadelphia and on the national stage. He was one of the most prominent figures in the American Revolution, and he helped draft the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
  • Franklin was also a skilled diplomat, and he played a key role in securing French support for the American Revolution. He also helped negotiate the Treaty of Paris, which ended the war and recognized the independence of the United States.
  • Despite his many achievements, Franklin remained a humble and down-to-earth individual. He famously said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
  • Franklin also had a strong interest in the arts and literature, and he was a prolific writer. He published many articles, essays, and books, including his famous "Poor Richard's Almanack," which was widely read and influential in 18th-century America.

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