When one takes a look at the world in which he currently lives, he sees it as being normal since it is so slow in changing. When an historian looks at the present, he sees the effects of many events and many profound people. Benjamin Franklin is one of these people. His participation in so many different fields changed the world immensely. He was a noted politician as well as respected scholar. He was an important inventor and scientist. Particularly interesting is his impact on the scientific world. Benjamin Franklin was a modest man who had had many jobs in his lifetime.
This may help explain his large array of inventions and new methods of working various jobs. He did everything from making cabbage-growing more efficient to making political decisions to being the first person to study and chart the Gulf Stream movement in the Atlantic Ocean. This can explain why many people, including myself, saw him as a universal man. The definition of a universal man is one who knows a little on every topic. If this were so, Ben Franklin would fit the description as one. He knew an enormous amount of politics. Which would explain why each colony wanted him to represent them in their convention.
In 1750, Ben Franklin was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly, in which he served until 1764. After that, he had been postmaster general, a delegate from Pennsylvania to the intercolonial congress, and even went to France for their help in wars. In 1766 he was sent before the House of Commons regarding the Stamp Act, Ben was thought to be behind the idea. It was there that testimony repealed the stamp act. Not only did he rewrite the declaration of independence, but he also drew up the U. S. constitution. We have Ben Franklin to thank for our independence in what we call America. Before he was a politician, Ben Franklin was also an inventor.
When people think of his inventions, the first thing that usually comes to mind is electricity. However, he did much more. For example, in colonial America, most people warmed their homes by building a fire in a fireplace even though it was kind of dangerous and used a lot of wood. Ben figured that there had to be a better way. His invention of an iron furnace stove allowed people to warm their homes less dangerously and with less wood. The furnace stove that he invented is called a Franklin stove. Interestingly enough, Ben also established the first fire company and the first fire insurance company in order to help people live more safely.
Another great invention was the bifocals. Ben had poor vision and needed glasses to read. Eventually he got tired of constantly taking them off and putting them back on, so he decided to figure out a way to make his glasses let him see both near and far. Thus, he had two pairs of spectacles cut in half and put half of each lens in a single frame. Ben Franklin, just like most people, had many interests and loves in his life. Not only did he love science, but he also loved thinking. Ben Franklin’s personal ideas about economy helped to shape our country’s economy. Franklin believed that the only true way to wealth was through hard work.
This noble idea became the soul of the “American Dream,” the idea that all people are created equal and each person has the same opportunity to achieve success. Ben used his printing skills to print paper money, helping to establish the paper currency system in America. Today, we honor Ben’s contribution to the economy every time we use a $100 bill. Ben’s face appears on it. It seems to me that his biggest love was in music. Ben Franklin found simple beauty in music. He played several instruments, including the violin, harp, and guitar. His great interest in music lead him to build his own glass armonica.
Touching the edge of the spinning glass with dampened fingers played this musical instrument. It was the armonica that appealed to many composers, including Mozart and Beethoven. It is for those areas why I, along with other people, consider Ben Franklin as a universal man. Along with his zest for life, Ben was considered a leading figure of his age. He helped shape and build America with hundreds of inventions, discoveries, improvements, and methods he had devised during his time on earth. Mostly, he redefined what it was to be an American. Today, we honor Ben Franklin as one of our Founding Fathers and as one of America’s greatest citizens.