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In his many careers as a printer moralist essayist civic leader scientist inventor statesman diplomat and philosopher Benjamin Franklin Became both a spokesman and a model for the national character of later generations of AmericansAfter less than two years of formal schooling Franklin was pressed into his fathers trade At the age of 16 Franklin wrote some pieces in a courant Silence Dogwood Though penniless and unknown Franklin soon found a job as a printer After a year he went to England where he became a master printer sowed some wild oats astonished Londoners with his swimming feats and lived among the famous writers of London In 17227 Franklin began his career as a civic leader by organizing a club of aspiring tradesmen called the Junto which met each week for discussion and planning Franklin began yet another career when in 1740 he invented the Pennsylvania fireplace later called the Franklin stove which soon heated buildings all over Europe and North America He also read treaties on electricity and and began a series of experiments with his friends in Philadelphia Experiments he proposed first tried in France in 1752 showed that lightning was in fact a form of electricity Later that year his famous kite experiment in which he flew a kite with the wire attached to a key during a thunderstorm His later achievements included formulating a theory of heat absorption measuring Gulf Stream designing ships tracking storm paths and inventing bifocal lenses In 1751 Franklin was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly causing the beginning of nearly 40 years as a puublic official At home from 1762 to 1764 Franklin travelled throughout the colonies reorganizing the American postal system He also built aa new house on Market Street in Philadelphia now reconstructed and open to visitors and otherwise provided for his family From April 1775 to October 1776 Franklin served on the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety and in the Continental Congress submitted articles of
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