Benjamin Franklin – a keen observer of human behavior known to be innovative and unhesitant – was considered almost equal to the great Leonardo da Vinci himself. The Renaissance spirit lived in him and Franklin was extremely good at being an inventor, scientist, scholar, politician, author, and businessman. Invention of Franklin stove (inspiring to research on electricity), distinguishing positive electricity from negative electricity, determining that electricity and lightning are the same, invention of bifocal spectacles, Benjamin Franklin Effect, etc. are only a few aspects that make him eminent. Here are some of the fascinating things which are fairly unknown to this generation:
- Pseudonyms (Pen names) – Benjamin Franklin only cared about concealing the identity so that his intentions are not detected by his brother. Although, many know him as Richard Saunders the author of Poor Richard’s Almanac, little did people know that he was also the 40 year old widow Silence Dogood, Benevolous, Anthony Afterwit, Polly Baker, Alice Addertongue, Martha Careful, Celia Shortface, and Busy Body. Even the pseudonyms were chosen to perfection and used based on the task that required to be attended.
- The Thirteen Virtues – He was the most flexible personality when it came to adopting virtues and did so at his convenience. For improving his character the thirteen virtues were implemented in his life practically and they are as follows: temperance, order, silence, resolution, industry, frugality, justice, sincerity, cleanliness, moderation, humility, chastity, and tranquility.
- Air Bathing – During his lifetime, it was a common belief that the severe cold during the winter caused many diseases and sickness in America. However, Franklin believed that it was because of the congested living of the people during the winter which led to sickness. Therefore, Benjamin Franklin preferred to go naked near his window and enjoyed bathing with free circulation of air. This, he thought, prevented winter diseases from affecting him.
- The first American musical instrument – Before Franklin there were a lot of musical instruments around the world and the world has seen classical music to a breathtaking extent. However, Franklin thought of creating an original American piece and so he did with the invention of “Armonica”. The instrument resembled a glass bowl organ, but with a different mechanism and the bowls were placed sideways. Even Beethoven and Mozart took a liking to this wonderful instrument and composed music also. Unfortunately, the instrument was believed to cause insanity if listened to longer periods and it is no longer produced.
- The Fire Brigade – Electricity was never a problem for Benjamin Franklin but he was very cautious about the adverse effects of fire. He produced many articles about fire safety and guidelines to avoid fire accidents. Franklin was able to assemble volunteers for working in fire departments named “The Union Fire Company” or “The Benjamin Franklin’s Bucket Brigade”. Later he encouraged implementation of insurance plans by establishing an insurance company by the name “Philadelphia Contributorship”.
The Kite flying ‘Free mason’ had more tricks up his sleeves than his contemporaries and was close to being called as lunatic if not for his great creative abilities and workmanship. Furthermore, he is known as “The First American” because of his efforts to obtain colonial unity, working as the first ambassador of the U.S to France, etc. which are contributions that made the Nation’s foundations strong. Benjamin Franklin is a name in history that would keep turning out no matter how many millennia pass away and he is a book which can never run out of pages.