Sunday, June 10, 2007

This Day in History Benjamin Franklin flys a kite

TITLE: The philosopher & his kite / H.S. Sadd sc. CALL NUMBER: BIOG FILE - Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-1790--Experiments with electricity [item] [P&P], REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-30750 (b&w film copy neg.) No known restrictions on publication.
Digital ID: cph 3a52954 Source: digital file from b&w film copy neg. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-30750 (b&w film copy neg.) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Retrieve uncompressed archival TIFF version (2,002 kilobytes)

SUMMARY: Print shows Benjamin Franklin and his son William flying a kite during an electrical storm. MEDIUM: 1 print : mezzotint. CREATED, PUBLISHED: [184-] (Printed by W. Neale), CREATOR: Sadd, Henry S., engraver.

NOTES: Title from item. Caption continues: Designed expressly for the Columbian Magazine by J.L. Morton. Illus. from: The Columbian magazine, or monthly miscellany,.... Philadelphia : Printed for T. Seddon, W. Spotswood, C. Cist, & J. Trenchard.

Published in: The tradition of technology : Landmarks of Western technology ... / Leonard C. Bruno. Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1995, p. 219.

REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

DIGITAL ID: (digital file from b&w film copy neg.) cph 3a52954 CARD #: 2006691772

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZ62-30750]

MARC Record Line 540 - No known restrictions on publication.

Franklin was born in 1706 at Boston. He was the tenth son of a soap and candlemaker. He received some formal education but was principally self-taught. After serving an apprenticeship to his father between the ages of 10 and 12, he went to work for his half-brother James, a printer. In 1721 the latter founded the New England Courant, the fourth newspaper in the colonies. Benjamin secretly contributed 14 essays to it, his first published writings.

In 1723, because of dissension with his half-brother, Franklin moved to Philadelphia, where he obtained employment as a printer. He spent only a year there and then sailed to London for 2 more years. Back in Philadelphia, he rose rapidly in the printing industry. He published The Pennsylvania Gazette (1730-48), which had been founded by another man in 1728, but his most successful literary venture was the annual Poor Richard 's Almanac (1733-58). It won a popularity in the colonies second only to the Bible, and its fame eventually spread to Europe.

Meantime, in 1730 Franklin had taken a common-law wife, Deborah Read, who was to bear him a son and daughter, and he also apparently had children with another nameless woman out of wedlock. By 1748 he had achieved financial independence and gained recognition for his philanthropy and the stimulus he provided to such civic causes as libraries, educational institutions, and hospitals. Energetic and tireless, he also found time to pursue his interest in science, as well as to enter politics.

Franklin served as clerk (1736-51) and member (1751-64) of the colonial legislature and as deputy postmaster of Philadelphia (1737-53) and deputy postmaster general of the colonies (1753-74). In addition, he represented Pennsylvania at the Albany Congress (1754), called to unite the colonies during the French and Indian War. The congress adopted his "Plan of Union," but the colonial assemblies rejected it because it encroached on their powers. CHARTERS OF FREEDOM

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