Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (HM2G2V)

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N 39° 46.607', W 86° 9.489'

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(January 17, 1706 - April 17, 1790)

Benjamin Franklin was the youngest son of seventeen children of a Boston candle and soap maker. His family could only afford to send him to school for two years so Franklin became a self-educated man. His brilliance as an inventor, writer and socialite produced numerous accomplishments and innovations, including the lighting rod, bifocals, swimming fins and the social practice of "paying it forward," none of which he patented. As one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, he was a member of the Committee of Five who drafted the Declaration of Independence and was one of 56 men who signed the document. His career as a printer, publisher and author gave him the opportunity to publicize his political social, scientific opinions and accomplishments, making him one of the most famous Americans of all time.

At 12 years old, Franklin began an apprenticeship to his brother, James, who printed the colonies' first independent newspaper. Franklin secretly submitted articles under the pseudonym, "Mrs. Silence Dogood," which became popular with readers.

Franklin created a self-improvement plan to shape his moral character and practiced one of the thirteen virtues every week.

Franklin published his own newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette. The paper provided

a forum for his common sense views which earned him public respect.

Franklin published Poor Richard's Almanack under the pseudonym Richard Saunders. The annual publication was a popular source of folk wisdom and continual best seller.

Watershed Moment

Benjamin Franklin was a man of many talents, including scientific inquiry and invention. In 1750, Franklin published a proposal for an experiment to demonstrate that lighting is electrical energy by flying a kite in a thunderstorm. In 1752, a Frenchman conducted Franklin's proposed experiment and used a 40-foot tall iron rod to extract electrical sparks from a cloud. It is commonly thought that in June 1752, Franklin and his son, William, conducted the famed experiment with a kite and a metal key in a thunderstorm outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

After signing the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, Franklin was sent to France as an Ambassador to gain financial support for the War of Independence. He was so popular that French families hung his portrait in their parlors.

Franklin published Maritime Observations which documented many of his nautical observations. It included charting and naming the Gulf Stream. His navigating advice shortened westbound Atlantic voyages by two weeks.
HM NumberHM2G2V
Placed ByCultural Trail Indianapolis
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, April 27th, 2019 at 11:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 572093 N 4403321
Decimal Degrees39.77678333, -86.15815000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 46.607', W 86° 9.489'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 46' 36.42" N, 86° 9' 29.34" W
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