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Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17 1706 in Boston Massachusetts Since this was on a Sunday his father had him immediately baptized to avoid any superstitious curse on him Franklin was the 15th of 17 children When he was a boy Franklin liked to write his name in a fancy manner But one day an old man who was visiting them saw the elaborate signature and remarked What fool wrote this After that Ben started writing his name in a plain style At age 10 Ben helped his father in his shop cutting candlewicks and filling molds He spent much of his time reading and also became a fantastic swimmer This led to one of his first inventions paddles that helped him swim faster At age 12 he started as an apprentice at his half-brothers printing shop While working there Ben wrote some poems that his brother printed and sold Ben educated himself by reading the classic authors of his time He also studied books on arithmetic navigation and grammar He loved a set of papers by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele called the Spectator and would read the essays it contained and rewrite them in his own style He found his writing style by comparing the original essay and his and finding the mistakes Franklin loved to read When he was 16 he tried to save money to buy more books by only eating vegetables to cut food costs Bens brother treated him harsh and tyrannical Franklin later attributed his love of independence to the years he spent as an apprentice and his aversion to the power of his brother When he was 17 Franklin left home and moved to Philadelphia Pennsylvania He arrived there almost penniless He also essentially cut his ties with his family in Boston He gained attention of the Pennsylvania Governor and at age 18 Ben was sent to London to study the latest developments in
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