Franklin called Philadelphia his home for much of his adult life. After coming
from the repressive Puritan influence in Boston, the openness of Quaker Philadelphia
appealed to young Franklin. The hard-working Quakers quickly recognized Franklins
strong work ethic and gave him opportunities to prove himself. He arrived in
the city as a virtually penniless teenager, and by the time he was 23, he owned
a print shop and published a newspaper. He quickly became a respected businessman
and well-known citizen. The "City of Brotherly Love" provided an ideal
environment for Franklin, and his many civic improvements made the city a better
place for everyone.
• Franklin came to Philadelphia at age 17, after running
away from a printing apprenticeship with his brother James.
• He began working as a journeyman printer (someone
who has completed his apprenticeship) at the printing business
of James Keimer.
• Gov. Keith of Pennsylvania encouraged Franklin to
start his own printing business and promised to provide capital.
In 1724, Franklin went to England to purchase printing presses
and type only to discover that Gov. Keith had backed away
from his promises.
This was Franklins most productive period as a citizen
• Franklin formed the Junto in 1727, as a club for promoting
business and personal friendships.
• In 1730, Franklin became the publisher of the Pennsylvania
• Through the Junto, Franklin founded the first subscription
library in the colonies in 1731.
• Franklin began publishing Poor Richards Almanack
• In 1736, Franklin founded the first volunteer fire company
• Franklin became the Postmaster for Philadelphia in 1737.
• Franklin helped found the Pennsylvania Academy and College
• In 1744, Franklin began selling the Pennsylvania fireplace,
which later became known as the "Franklin stove."
• Franklin helped organize a Pennsylvania militia in 1747.
• In 1748, Franklin retired from business to pursue other
• Franklins famous kite experiment was conducted
• Franklin helped found the Pennsylvania Hospital in 1755.
• Also during this period, Franklin suggested improvements
in street lighting, street cleaning, paving Philadelphias
streets, fire insurance, and a system for night watchmen.