Benjamin Franklin is one of America's early treasures. He was instrumental in the creation of this country, and later was one of the first abolitionists. He was a writer, an inventor, and a scientist who was constantly curious about the world around him.
This theory began a couple years back during a restoration on a house that Ben Franklin resided in for 18 years, when he was living in London. The house, on Craven Street, was near collapse, and so the organization Friends of Benjamin Franklin House started the process of renovating.
But what they found buried in the basement of that house was horrifying.
Were these ancient remains the victims of a murderous founding father? I mean, it kinda makes sense, Benjamin Franklin did start the US Postal Service. So if anyone is going to "Go Postal," it could be him.
Okay, so Benjamin Franklin was not a serial killer. But he still was an incredibly eclectic, interesting man! We all know the basics about him. He invented all sorts of useful things like bifocals, and discovered the nature of electricity, but here are some crazy facts you may not know about Benjamin Franklin.
By the age of 42, Benjamin Franklin has made so much money that he was able to retire. That meant for the next 42 years, until he died at the age of 81, Benjamin Franklin was a "man of leisure." Fortunately, he didn't spend his golden years idly. It was during that time that he created most of his inventions, dedicated himself to public service, and, you know, helped create the United States of America.
Yeah, this one is pretty weird. When he was a teen, he started submitting essays to his brother's weekly newspaper as "Silence Dogood." Silence was a fake widow, who would talk about fashion, women's rights, religion, and more. She became so popular that she even received marriage proposals. Eventually, Franklin outed himself, and was punished by his brother.
You know that beautiful sound that is made when your wet finger rubs the rim of a glass? Well, Franklin loved it so much that he created an instrument that could recreate it precisely. The glass armonica became so popular that Beethoven, Mozart and Strauss all wrote music for it!
Benjamin Franklin hated the inconsistencies in the English language. So he set out to fix them. He came up with a new alphabet, that was more phonetically complete. Unfortunately for both him and future generations, it never caught on and was eventually scrapped.
While we don't associate the... robust Franklin with being an athlete, he was actually a great swimmer! One of his first inventions were paddles to help one swim. He eventually was even inducted into the Swimming Hall of Fame!
I know no one thinks of Benjamin Franklin as poor, I don't think people realize exactly how rich he was. Forbes once ranked Franklin as the 89th richest American of all time! He made his money in the printing business, real estate, and as the publisher of Poor Richard's Almanack.