Interesting Facts About Benjamin Franklin for Kids

Interesting Facts About Benjamin Franklin for Kids

Benjamin Franklin is most well known for being one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, but there is so much more to him than that! Benjamin Franklin was a man who lived an extraordinary life and contributed so much to society as we know it. His image may be well known to most since his face is on the $100 bill, but his story is not.

When studying the history of the United States of America, digging deeper into the life of Benjamin Franklin is something you should not miss out on! Here we look into Benjamin Franklin and learn who he was, where he came from, his life and accomplishments, and his contributions to the country and fellow citizens. 

Who Was Benjamin Franklin? 

Benjamin Franklin held a major role in the American Revolution, helping to turn the Thirteen Colonies under British rule into an independent and unified nation of its own.

  • Starting with a career in Printing, Benjamin also found fame as a statesman and a scientist
  • Franklin was found to have many skills and excelled in politics, writing, inventing, music, and science.
  • He was also a brilliant diplomat and had a great deal of influence over the international and local events of his time. 

The Life History of Benjamin Franklin

Learn important Ben Franklin facts in this overview of the history of Ben Franklin’s life and all that he accomplished in it:

  • Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • He worked at his brother’s printing shop as his apprentice for a few years before moving to Philadelphia and continuing in Printing. 
  • Benjamin Franklin’s most popular publication was the “Poor Richard’s Almanac.”
  • During his life in Philadelphia, he started many services for the public, some of which were a library, fire department, insurance company, and hospital.
  • Benjamin Franklin was a good inventor and is best known for inventing the lightning rod, the Franklin Stove, and Bifocal glasses. 
  • He had grown into a respected political leader and was responsible for helping to put an end to the Stamp Act that had been imposed on the American Colonies by the British.
  • Benjamin Franklin is most famous for his part in creating the US Constitution and the drafting of the Declaration of Independence
  • Benjamin Franklin worked towards ending slavery in the last years of his life.

What Is Benjamin Franklin Best Known for? 

While Benjamin Franklin is a man who accomplished a lot in his life, there are a few things that he is most notable for. Benjamin Franklin was most known for:

  • Being one of the Founding Fathers of the USA.
  • Helping to create one unified nation out of the Thirteen Colonies.
  • He was one of the key members in negotiating the Treaty of Paris.
  • The invention of the Lightning Rod.
  • Poor Richard’s Almanac.

Benjamin Franklin Family and Early Life

If we want to learn about Benjamin Franklin, it is important to look at his background and how he got his start in life:

  • In Boston, Benjamin was born to Josiah Franklin and Abiah Folger on January 17th, 1706.
  • He was the 15th child out of his parents’ 17 children and was the youngest son in the family. 
  • At the age of ten, Benjamin was forced to leave school due to a lack of money. 
  • He continued his studies himself by reading many books on a variety of topics.
  • Ben Franklin spent two years working for his father.
  • At the age of twelve, he worked as his brother’s apprentice as a printer. 
  • While working for his brother, he was not allowed to write, but Benjamin wrote political essays anyway and signed them under the pen name “Silence Dogood.” 
  • His brother did not want Benjamin to write and often beat him. 
  • When Benjamin was 17, he ran away from his work as his brother’s apprentice and moved to Philadelphia, his home, until his death.
  • On the 1st of September, Ben Franklin married Deborah Read. 
  • They had two children: a son named Francis Folger Franklin and a daughter named Sarah Franklin. 
  • Ben Franklin was known to have a son outside of marriage with an unknown woman. His name was William Franklin. 

Benjamin Franklin Inventions 

Benjamin was noted for his curiosity and love for experimenting. These led to him making many useful inventions. Here are some of the most noted facts about Benjamin Franklin inventions: 

  • In the year 1752, Benjamin Franklin performed the famous Kite-and-Key experiment. Through this experiment, Benjamin Franklin demonstrated that lightning is made up of electricity. He then invented the lightning rod, which is used today to protect buildings from being struck by lightning.
  • Benjamin Franklin also invented the Franklin Stove, which was used to heat rooms in the winter. 
  • Another invention that Benjamin Franklin is well known for is his invention of bifocal glasses. It is believed that he invented them when he got fed up with switching between two pairs of glasses all the time.
  • Ben Franklin’s inventions include the long arm, swim fins, hand paddles, and a flexible catheter. 
  • Ben Franklin is also known for coining terms that we still use today. These are words like “charge,” “battery,” “conductor,” “negatively,” and “positively.”
  • He created the cartoon “Join or Die,” which had political themes. This cartoon helped to unite the American Colonists during the revolution.

Benjamin Franklin Achievements

Benjamin Franklin Achievements

His love for learning and sharing his knowledge led Benjamin Franklin to make great strides in his society. Here are a few important facts about Benjamin Franklin and all that he has achieved:

  • In 1728, Benjamin Franklin and his friend opened their printing shop.
  • In 1729, Benjamin Franklin bought the Pennsylvania Gazette, and under his direction, it became the most popular newspaper in the American colonies.
  • In 1732, Benjamin Franklin started publishing the annual “Poor Richard’s Almanac.” He wrote as a poor farmer named Richard Saunders. This almanac contained poetry and entertainment, along with other practical information, like understanding astrology and weather forecasts. 
  • Benjamin Franklin is also known to have made discoveries in cooling, electricity, printing, the wave theory of light, and meteorology. 
  • He put in place the first-ever Pennsylvanian Fire Department.
  • Benjamin Franklin is the founder of the University of Pennsylvania.
  • He began a lending library, which is the first one in America!
  • During a trip to England, Benjamin Franklin drew a map of the Gulf Stream. This was the first-ever map that had been drawn of it. 

Contribution of Benjamin Franklin for America 

Benjamin Franklin contributed so much to society and played a key role in changing the fate of an entire nation:

  • In 1751, Benjamin Franklin was elected to represent the Pennsylvania Assembly for the first time. Each year until 1764, he was re-elected into this post.
  • The British Parliament passed the Stamp Act in March of 1765. This made the American colonists very upset, as this meant they would need to pay tax on any printed material. Benjamin Franklin represented Pennsylvania in London and condemned the tax when he went to speak before the British Parliament. The Bill was repealed the very next year. 
  • In 1775, Benjamin Franklin was elected into the Second Continental Congress, where he voiced his opinion that the Colonies in America should no longer be under British rule. 
  • In 1776, Benjamin Franklin helped compose the treasured “Declaration of Independence.” 
  • The same year, Benjamin Franklin traveled to France to negotiate a deal that would result in France sending both soldiers and money to help fight the war for Independence from the British. 
  • Benjamin helped to negotiate with Britain for acceptable terms of peace. This eventually led to the 1783 Treaty of Paris. 
  • In 1787, Benjamin Franklin was Pennsylvania’s representative of state at the constitutional convention, whose aim was to create the US Constitution. 
  • In the last few months of his life, Benjamin Franklin urged the US Congress to abolish slavery from the nation. 

The Death of Benjamin Franklin 

Benjamin lived a long and full life. These are the facts related to his death:

  • Ben died on the 17th of April in Philadelphia in the year 1790. 
  • One year after his death, the memoirs that Benjamin Franklin has been working on were published. Today, we know them as “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.”

Best Benjamin Franklin Books for Children 

Learning facts may not be the most interesting activity, so here are some wonderfully educational and fun books on Benjamin Franklin for kids:

  • Now and Ben by Gene Baretta
  • How Ben Franklin Stole the Lightning by Rosalyn Schanzer
  • The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin by James Cross Giblin and illustrated by Michael Dooling.
  • What’s the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? By Jean Fritz and illustrated by Margot Tomes.
  • Ben Franklin, American Genius – His Life and Ideas, With 22 Activities by Brandon Miller.

More Facts About Benjamin Franklin for Children. 

Here are some of the less known facts about Benjamin Franklin:

  1. Benjamin Franklin was the first Postmaster in the United States of America.
  2. He allowed people to use his many inventions for free, so he never bothered to get any of them patented.
  3. Benjamin Franklin had slaves, but he set them free as he began to fight to abolish the practice of enslaving people.
  4. “Poor Richard’s Almanac” made Benjamin Franklin a fairly wealthy man.
  5. In 1999, he was included in the US Chess Hall of Fame as he had been very passionate about playing chess.
  6. Benjamin Franklin is believed to have been a freemason.
  7. Benjamin Franklin was 5 feet 9 inches tall.
  8. Benjamin Franklin was born on a street called “Milk Street.”
  9. Benjamin’s father was a candle maker, a soaper, and a tallow chandler. 
  10. Benjamin Franklin’s son, Francis, died at the age of four due to smallpox. 
  11. The University of Pennsylvania was known as the Academy of Pennsylvania in 1751 when Benjamin Franklin helped to establish it. 
  12. Benjamin Franklin attended the Boston Latin School for only two years and was further educated through his voracious appetite for reading. 
  13. The first thing Benjamin Franklin invented was swim fins. He was only 11 years old when he decided to use two wooden planks as fins as he loved swimming and believed it would help him swim better.
  14. He once followed three-quarters of a storm on horseback so that he could prove that a storm could travel against the wind. 

Benjamin Franklin’s life is a great example for kids to learn to accomplish much, even when you have so little to start with. Born into a poor household, Benjamin Franklin had to work very hard to accomplish all he did. He was diligent, hardworking, and passionate, which got him very far in life. 

Also Read:

Abraham Lincoln Facts for Children
Isaac Newton Facts for Kids
Thomas Edison Facts for Children

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