benjamin franklin

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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 Franklin’s 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.

1723 — 1724

• 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.

1726 — 1757

This was Franklin’s most productive period as a citizen of Philadelphia.

• Franklin formed the Junto in 1727, as a club for promoting business and personal friendships.

• In 1730, Franklin became the publisher of the Pennsylvania Gazette.

• Through the Junto, Franklin founded the first subscription library in the colonies in 1731.

• Franklin began publishing Poor Richard’s Almanack in 1732.

• In 1736, Franklin founded the first volunteer fire company in America.

• Franklin became the Postmaster for Philadelphia in 1737.

• Franklin helped found the Pennsylvania Academy and College in 1743.

• 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 interests.

• Franklin’s famous kite experiment was conducted in 1752.

• Franklin helped found the Pennsylvania Hospital in 1755.

• Also during this period, Franklin suggested improvements in street lighting, street cleaning, paving Philadelphia’s streets, fire insurance, and a system for night watchmen.

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