Why Benjamin Franklin: a man ahead of his time

Written by BFIS Staff

In 1986 a group of parents founded a new school in Barcelona. Their vision was of a school that embraced the best American education within an international environment that would promote tolerance, innovation, and open-mindedness, and where students from all nationalities could grow and learn, both from an academic and a human perspective. 

Having given great thought to their school’s name, they agreed on Benjamin Franklin, recognizing his enormous contributions to American education, his innovative ideas, and his inventions.

A wise man

Benjamin Franklin was a man ahead of his time and considered by many to be “the wisest man of America”. He was a great statesman, diplomat, scientist, inventor, writer, philosopher, publisher, the first US Ambassador to France, and one of the most loved civil servants in United States history. 

He was a legacy of prudence, common sense, and honesty, qualities everyone sought for the BFIS community.

“Benjamin Franklin is the only founding father to have signed all four of the key documents establishing the U.S.: the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Treaty of Alliance with France (1778), the Treaty of Paris establishing peace with Great Britain (1783) and the U.S. Constitution (1787).”

Franklin studied a number of topics, including ocean currents, meteorology, causes of the common cold, and refrigeration. He developed the Franklin stove, which provided more heat while using less fuel than other stoves, and bifocal eyeglasses, which allow for distance and reading use. 

More than 200 years after his death, Franklin remains one of the most celebrated figures in U.S. history. His image appears on the $100 bill, and towns, schools, and businesses across America are named for him.

Photo by Dan Mall in Unsplash

What did Benjamin Franklin want to be when he grew up?

From his school days on, Benjamin Franklin wanted to be a sailor. His father did not approve, because an older son, Josiah, had gone to sea and never returned. 

Because reading was Ben’s favorite pastime, his father decided on the trade of printing and sent Ben to learn in his older brother’s printing shop. Ben continued this learning in Philadelphia and England and eventually set up his own printing business in Philadelphia.

Did Benjamin Franklin really fly a kite in a thunderstorm?

Yes, according to Franklin himself. In 1752, he tied a key to a kite string and took it outside during a thunderstorm. His goal was to prove that lightning was a form of electricity. 

Which institutions did Benjamin Franklin found?

Benjamin Franklin founded the University of Pennsylvania, the American Philosophical Society, Pennsylvania Hospital, and Franklin and Marshall College.

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