PEOPLE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD
In this post on the THE PEOPLE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD I want to pay a small tribute to one of my all time favorite people – BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
His Autobiography was one of the first biographies that I read way back in 1982. In the revised version (second edition) of my first book MAN THE HUMAN, I acknowledged him in my Preface.
I would like to share with you what I wrote of him then.
An acknowledgement to BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
He was the youngest son of a youngest son of a youngest son of a youngest son.
He was the Masonic Grand Master of Pennsylvania.
He was a Colonel in Militia.
He was the first American philosopher.
He was the first Political Cartoonist.
He was the first American Ambassador.
He was the first American wise-cracker and epigrammatist.
He was the first man to understand the Nature of a Cold.
He was the first to use illustrations in advertising.
He was the first reformer of English Spelling.
He was the first to discover that exhaled air is poisonous.
He first charted the course of the Northeast Storms.
He gave the first explanation of the Aurora Borealis.
He originated the first Street-Cleaning Department.
He originated the first system of Ventilation.
He was the first Postmaster.
He started the first Police Department.
He was the first to introduce Prayer in Congress.
He invented the Rocking Chair.
He invented the Lightning Conductor.
He invented the Street Lamp.
He invented Commercial Advertising.
He was the inventor of Double Spectacles (bifocal lens).
He invented the Franklin Stove.
He invented the white duck clothing used in tropical climates
He was the inventor of Plaster of Paris for fertilizing.
He started the society to Abolish Slavery.
He was a pioneer of the modern Voting System for Congress.
He is the father of modern Dentistry.
He organized the first Fire Department.
He was the founder of the Democratic Party.
He established the modern Post Office System.
He was the author of the Abbreviated English Prayer Book.
He discovered the identity of Lightning and Electricity.
He originated the first Circulatory Library.
He discovered the Gulf Stream.
He introduced newspaper carrying by mail.
He was the best swimmer of his time.
He introduced the Yellow Willow and Broom Corn into America.
He was a noted colonial printer and was called the ‘Patron Saint of Printing’.
Mind you, these are just his ‘firsts’, and he never went to school, much less had any formal education.
It made me ask myself, what legacy would I go on to leave behind me that would be worthy of mention long after I was gone!
Benjamin Franklin’s life often reminds me of my favorite Edison quote:
“If we did all the things we are capable of,
we would literally astound ourselves.”