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Interesting facts about Ben Franklin
(adapted from Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions You Can Build Yourself,
by Carmella Van Vleet)

  • Ben earned lots of money, but he could have earned a lot more if he had patented his inventions. He never once patented any of his inventions.
  • Ben Franklin was the first American to invent an instrument, the armonica.
  • Ben Franklin was bad at math!
  • Ben Franklin taught himself how to swim when he was eight, and often taught his friends how to swim. At one time he considered opening up a swim school.
  • At the age of 16 Ben Franklin read a book about vegetable diets and decided to become a vegetarian.
  • While working in London, Ben got the nickname "Water-American," because he drank water instead of beer like almost everyone else.
  • Ben Franklin convinced the Pennsylvania Assembly to switch from coins to paper currency because coins were hard to come by and cumbersome.
  • Ben wrote a letter that convinced Congress to publicly debate slavery for the first time.
  • After writing and publishing Poor Richard's Almanac and The Way to Wealth, Ben Franklin became so wealthy that he was able to retire from printing in his early forties.
  • Ben liked to take "air baths." He would sit naked in his bathtub and let the cold air from an open window clean away any germs!
  • Ben Franklin founded the prestigious Ivy League school, the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Ben nearly electrocuted himself to death while trying to cook a turkey with electricity!
  • Ben helped Thomas Jefferson revise the Declaration of Independence.

Contributor: Nomad Press

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Updated 02/28/08

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