Benjamin Franklin

altBenjamin Franklin was one of the most famous people in American history. He was never a President of the United States, but he made great achievements in many areas of life, including business, literature, science, and politics. Benjamin Franklin was born in the city of Boston, during the year 1706. In his early years, Franklin was very poor. As a young man, he worked for his older brother, who was a printer. However, the two brothers soon argued with each other. Benjamin decided to leave, and he moved to the city of Philadelphia. He worked very hard and soon became a successful printer. He published his own newspapers, and he also published books called almanacs, which contained many wise sayings. Many of the wise sayings in Franklin’s almanacs are still repeated today.

Franklin’s printing business was very successful, but he was also very interested in science. He performed experiments on the topic of electricity. Some of these experiments were very dangerous. In one experiment, Franklin was almost killed when he went outside during a lightning storm and flew a kite that had a metal key attached. However, Franklin was lucky enough to avoid injury, and he learned new facts about electricity. In addition to scientific research, Franklin was also an inventor. He invented a new kind of eye-glasses called “bifocals.” Bifocals are eye-glasses that allow people to see things that are far away, but also allow them to read things that are very close. Another invention was a new kind of stove for burning wood. This new stove was much more efficient than the older stoves had been. He also invented a lightning rod, which keeps houses safe from lightning.

Franklin was also interested in making his city a better place to live. He started a public library, and he helped to organize a hospital and a fire department. In addition, he supervised the postal service, which operated profitably under his command. In his later years, Franklin became heavily involved in politics. For most of Franklin’s life, the United States was not yet a country. Instead, the states were still colonies of England, but Franklin encouraged other Americans to become an independent country. When the United States became a country, Franklin became the American ambassador to France. The French people liked Franklin very much. Franklin later returned to the United States, and he died in 1790.

Today, many Americans still admire the brilliant achievements of Benjamin Franklin, who did so much to improve people’s lives. The picture of Benjamin Franklin can be seen on the American hundred-dollar bill.

someone who is employed in the trade of printing

a book produced each year containing information about a particular subject, especially a sport, or important dates, times etc
a football almanac a nautical almanac

a scientific test done to find out how something reacts under certain conditions, or to find out if a particular idea is true
experiment with/in/on
experiments with alcohol-fuelled carsexperiments on sleep deprivation
experiment to test/see/demonstrate etc something The researcher sets up experiments to test the experiment to assess the effect of stress on athletes carry out/perform/do/conduct an experiment Teachers are shown how to carry out many simple experiments.
by experiment
Many small birds guide themselves by the stars, as has been verified by experiment.


special glasses with an upper part made for seeing things that are far away, and a lower part made for reading

lightning rod:American English

a lightning conductor(British English)
a metal wire or bar that is attached to the side of a building and goes from the top to the ground, used to protect the building from lightning


producing a profit or a useful result
ᅳopposite unprofitable

The advertising campaign proved very profitable.
a highly profitable businessa profitable afternoon
ᅳprofitably adverb

in large amounts, to a high degree, or with great severity
ᅳsynonym very
I became heavily involved in politics.
The report was heavily criticized in the press.
a heavily populated area
thousands of heavily armed troops
His wife was heavily pregnant at the time.
it rains/snows heavily
It’s been raining heavily all day.
drink/smoke heavily
Paul was drinking heavily by then.
heavily dependent/reliant/influenced
Britain is heavily dependent on imports for its raw materials.


a country or area that is under the political control of a more powerful country, usually one that is far away
ᅳsee also colonial, colonize

Algeria was formerly a French colony.


British English excellent
The film was absolutely brilliant .