Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,415 pages of information and 233,868 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Benjamin Franklin

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Monument in Paris. Image by M.Soper.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was one of the most important Founding Fathers of the United States.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, New England, on 6 January 1706 and baptised the same day. His parents were Josiah Franklin (1657–1745), a tallow chandler and soap maker who had emigrated from England in 1683 to practise his puritan faith, and his second wife, Abiah (1667–1752), the daughter of Peter Folger of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Josiah had eighteen children, seven by his first wife and eleven by his second. Benjamin was the ninth child born to Josiah and Abiah.

Benjamin was a leading author, political theorist, politician, printer, scientist, inventor, civic activist, and diplomat.

As a scientist he was a major figure in the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity.

As a political writer and activist he, more than anyone, invented the idea of an American nation

As a diplomat during the American Revolution, he secured the French alliance that helped to make independence possible.

He spent many years in England and is reported to have visited the Carron Co in Scotland

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