View Video Lecture First:

View: Biography of Benjamin Franklin

Read:  These chapters from Ben Franklin’s Autobiography:

I.Ancestry and Early Life in Boston3
II.Beginning Life as a Printer21
III.Arrival in Philadelphia41
IX.Plan for Attaining Moral Perfection146
X.Poor Richard’s Almanac and Other Activities169
XIII.Public Services and Duties217
XVIII.Scientific Experiments289
Electrical Kite327
The Way to Wealth331




  1. Jingquan Feng

    After I finished. “Beginning Life as a Printer,” “Poor Richard’s Almanac and Other Activities,” and “The Way to Wealth.” I found out that Benjamin Franklin was a frugal book lover, a knowledgeable and rational man all the time. I am surprised that he is on every 100-dollar bills, but he was not a wealthy person and was always thrifty. Most people who got printed on the dollar bills were from a wealthy family except Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, and Andrew Jackson. In these chapters, Benjamin Franklin always promotes frugal life, for example, in the chapter. “The Way to Wealth,” it said, “If you would know the Value of Money, go and try to borrow some; for, he that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing.” I agreed with this statement. Nowadays, many people had debts, and the reason they have debts is that people don’t like to save money. When you have money, you need to find ways to use them properly. For example, at the beginning of the chapter. “ Beginning Life as a Printer,” Benjamin Franklin said: “from a child, I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books.” In the sentence, we know that he didn’t waste his money on the things he didn’t need; he used the money to buy books and extend his knowledge. When you shift to today, compared to the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, you will realize that even he had many debts, but he still wastes money on the expensive things. (He is wasting our tax money) And he did nothing useful to the people. I say Benjamin Franklin was a knowledgeable and rational man because of his action in the chapter. “ Poor Richard’s Almanac and Other Activities,” In this chapter, he said: “I mention this affair chiefly for the sake of recommending that branch of education for our young females, as likely to be of more use to them and their children, in case of widowhood, than either music or dancing.” In my opinion, this is the early stage of anti-sexism. He was not a patriarchy man, which is rare during that time.

    • Mark


      Very thoughtful response. I like how you bring up key points of why BF is a man of the Enlightenment as well as his interest in being frugal, acting wisely, and getting wealthy. While it’s Trump seems to be wealthy, it’s clear Franklin would not be impressed by his massive debts — as you point out. Clearly, Franklin’s larger interest is being virtuous versus corrupt. Another terrific post.

  2. Brianna Lesperences

    After reading the chapters “Beginning Life as a printer” and ” Arrival in Philadelphia” along with viewing the short biography, I’ve learned a lot about the man on the 100 dollar bill. Even as a young child Benjamin Franklin was very much into reading as well as being frugal. In the very beginning of “Beginning Life as a printer” he stated that he would save the little money he had in order to buy books and further educate himself. ” From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books…my first collection was a John Bunyan’s works in separate little volumes. I after sold them to enable me to buy R . Burton’s Historical Collections..” When arriving in Philadelphia Benjamin was in unknown territory, he was able to lodge in many different places before finally settling and finding a job along side a printer. Once he quickly became a part of the community and becoming friends with other young people that enjoyed reading he forgot about Boston and continued working hard and being frugal. With being a great printer at a young age he even received praise from the governor, who was sure of his success to come in the future.
    A saying that stood out to me in “The Way To Wealth” that I personally felt connected to and know others will as well would be the quote “Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.” Most people main way of learning throughout life is through physical experience. Even when being in college for a specific major, the only way that you would become better in your field is through experience. Being hands on pushes people to learn more about what they’re doing and who they are in the process.

    • Mark


      You pick up several key points about BF and his rise to success, especially his emphasis on reading. I also like your point about the value of practical experience versus simply believing what people say. Nicely done!

  3. Manija Shouff

    After reading chapters I and XVII, the thing that interested me the most is that Benjamin had a BIG family. His father married young, had two wives and a total of 17 children with Ben being the 15th. It is hard to have kids nowadays, I can only imagine in those times. Also, Bens mothers name was Abiah Folger, is that in anyway related to the Folgers coffee? As for chapter XVII, upon return to Philadelphia from Boston, Ben finds out that their library has received a new gift from Mr. Collinson, a glass tube. After seeing the glass tube, he wanted to repeat the experiments he saw in Boston. He was so grateful for this present that he wrote Mr. Collinson letters, only to find out that people were laughing at his works. Nonetheless, in London, Mr. Canton tests Bens experiment with a success. After that successful experiment, they make Ben a member who is excluded from the membership payments, was presented a gold medal and the president made a speech honoring Ben. This tells me that even if others tell you, you will not be successful there are still others who will admire your hard work.

    After reading “The Way to Wealth”, the saying that I agree with the most is “Have you somewhat to do To-morrow, do it To-day.” This reminds me of a time when I applied to college. I had received an email from Board of Ed informing me that it was too late for registration and I had to try again next year, of course I was upset but that did not stop me. At the time, I was thinking of going directly to school tomorrow but something in me told me I can’t delay this till tomorrow when it can be done today, I grabbed all my documents and ran to school on the same day, I was lucky to get accepted the same day as well. As they say why wait for tomorrow when it can be done today!

    • Mark

      Very thoughtful response Manija. Your choice of quote and anecdote of not putting off till tomorrow what you can do today is a great one! You made a good choice , which Franklin would approve of!

  4. Lisbeth Rivas

    One of the chapters that interested me the most was the chapter IX “plan for attaining moral perfection.” I was mostly intrigued because I was curious as to how can a person, try to attain “perfection” when perfection does not exist. Benjamin Franklin decided to make a list of things that he could do that would make him a better person. Such as silence, resolution, frugality, etc. Within trying to become a better person, Benjamin noticed he had more faults within himself than he thought. Although he did not get to achieve the amount of perfection he was hoping for, Benjamin was satisfied at the fact that he at least attempted it. Although we do not know if making a list of things that would make a person better worked for Benjamin, I think it is an interesting concept that people should try it out to see if it does help improve in areas of your life. Another chapter that I found interesting was II “Beginning life as a printer.” It talks about how Benjamin’s father wanted him to become a printer since they did not have access to good books and also because of Benjamin’s love for literature. His father grew impatient, therefore he made Benjamin bonded to his brother. He was serving as his apprentice until he turned 21 and began making money, having access to better books. He then got noticed by one of the customers who frequently visited the printing house, Mr. Matthew Adams, who had a good collection of books that he would lend to Benjamin. Benjamin began taking an interest in poetry and was encouraged by his brother, who believed something would come of it one day. Unlike his brother, Benjamin’s father was opposed to the idea claiming that it was nonsense and for “beggers.” In 1720 or 1721, Benjamin’s brother began to print newspapers. It appeared in America and was called the New England Courant, despite many believing that it was not good enough. Soon after, he had gotten the job of handing out the newspaper on the streets to the customers. Later on, Benjamin made it to New York with very little money and knowledge of the place he was going to.

    After reading “The way to wealth.” one of the sayings that caught my eye was “Lost time is never found again, and what we call time enough, always proves little enough.” Although this does not have a specific connection to an experience I’ve had, I’ve been thinking about time lately. And during the pandemic, I’ve felt as though time is going by fast, and since we are not allowed to do much, I feel like life is passing me by as I’m stuck at home. I feel like I’m not doing much with my life. Almost like time is slipping through my hands. Life is too short and I want to have fun and enjoy my youth. I know I can’t control the circumstances we’re in and no one has the power to control time. I wish it could go slower.

    • Mark

      Great commentary on BF Lisbeth. You do an excellent job connecting Franklin’s interest in self-perfection to his interest in improving both the individual as well as the society to which he or she belongs. Your choice of quote is also really philosophical and important for the current moment. Franklin would certainly be pleased by your insightful connections regarding “lost time.”

  5. Marjan Ahmed

    One very important thing that could be learned from Benjamin Franklin is to never give up. In chapter 3, he started his journey to Philadelphia, where he had no idea what lies for him. In the search of some work he boarded on a boat. Upon arrival to the at stony beach they could not even get to the shore properly. He stated, “When we drew near the island, we found it was at a place where there could be no landing.” The wind was so strong that they could not even get to a dry place, dew to which they were stranded in the water for 30 hours without any source of food or water except for Rum. Nowadays it is hard for us to go anywhere without transportation, from grocery store to any other kind of supermarket, we need to take a bus or train most of the time. But in case of Benjamin he had nothing but boats which was also far away. He mentioned, “I proceeded on my journey on foot, having fifty miles to Burlington, where I was told I should find boats that would carry me the rest of the way to Philadelphia.” Imagine walking for 1 mile and knowing that the destination is 50 miles away, it is enough for many people to just stop. But Ben did not stop, he kept going in the hope of finding the boats at the end. In the way he made couple of stops at certain markets, and one time he saw a boy carrying same sort of bread and he thought it was made in Philadelphia. At that time there was not google maps, but he might have thought he already reached Philadelphia. Also, when he was doing experiments with the electricity, people were kind of making fun of him, if a woman did it at that time, she would be considered a witch may be, I mean that’s what couple of movies thought me. But Benjamin did not let the criticism discourage him and continued doing what he wanted to.
    After reading all the quotes in “The Way to Wealth”, the one that made me thing was “If you were a Servant, would you not be ashamed that a good Master should catch you idle? Are you then your own Master, be ashamed to catch yourself idle.” This quotes also reflects to what I mentioned in the paragraph above, never to give up and keep grinding. This quote means to me, that never let yourself be lazy, always stay on something and try to get he best out of any opportunity you get in life. This reminds me of the first job I got, it was in a pharmacy. I used to get all the medication from that store, and I was in 10th grade. I was looking for a part time job for pocket money since I never liked asking money from my parents. So, I was casually talking to the manager and mentioned I am looking for a job, he immediately told me to start working now because there is a vacancy in the cashier’s section and I did start right there. So, the from this quote to me is never miss any opportunity and always be on something, avoid being lazy.

    • Mark


      You do a fantastic job focusing of BF’s “secret” to his success: Never giving up. I also really like your choice of quote and the example you give taking advantage of every moment — which you yourself seem to be doing!

  6. Dan

    “Fools make Feasts, and wise Men eat them.” I am in the process of switching careers from hospitality to the technology field. I know that this saying has deeper philosophical meaning behind it, but taken at the context of the saying at face value, I have cooked many feasts while the “wise” ate. The people that I have cooked for over the years have ranged from every-day people to celebrities. Are they the “wise”? If you look at it in terms of how much money you make, then yes, they were much wiser than me. If you look at in terms of wanting to understand human-nature, the experience self-exploration, and learn how to cook the best food possible, then who is wiser? While I have foolishly made many feasts for wise men, I will be the wise in a short time coming.
    In response to, “Beginning Life as a Printer” Benjamin Franklin it would appear that that Franklin also knows what it is like to make feasts that the wise eat. His life as a printer gave him access to books to expand his knowledge, but at the same time he wasn’t making a lot of money. “…I presently found that I could save half what he paid me. This was an additional fund for buying books. But I had another advantage in it. My brother and the rest going from the printing-house to their meals, I remained there alone, and, dispatching presently my light repast, which often was no more than a bisket or a slice of bread, a handful of raisins or a tart from the pastry-cook’s, and a glass of water, had the rest of the time till their return for study, in which I made the greater progress, from that greater clearness of head and quicker apprehension which usually attend temperance in eating and drinking.” Had he not been able to do this, he would not have been able to buy the books he bought. There were not any extra funds for book buying, only funds for boarding.
    In the chapter, “Scientific Experiments” I was looking forward to his insights for his scientific research, but this chapter seems to be more about getting acknowledgment from his peers. This acknowledgement is important part of history being that had it a not had happened, who knows how long it would have been before someone else came to the same conclusions.

    • Mark


      That’s a very funny and “wise” choice of quote from BF. The metaphor of who gets to feast that you refer to is revelatory. You also make me think of how decimated the Hospitality field , especially in NYC, is; whereas to importance of the technology is more important than ever. You make an interesting point about his “science” chapter which is more about him. The truth is BF was legitimately interesting in many scientific experiments. — as his chapter on discovering electricity with his kite better shows.

  7. Richard Li

    When we think of Benjamin Franklin, we think of the guy who flew a kite into a thunderstorm with a rod connected and it attracted the thunder from the storm. After reading a biography on the life of Benjamin Franklin, in chapter 2, “Beginning Life As A Printer” I was surprised when he said he was fond of reading as a child. Unlike me, I do not like reading as much because I find it boring, but props to everyone that does. He was always thirsting for more knowledge. He would read any book that he found. He would write newspapers at such a young age. Working at such a young age was a privilege back then, and now it feels like it’s scarce at a young age because everyone is fighting for it.

    In chapter 12, “There were, however, two, things that I regretted, there being no provision for defense, nor for a compleat education of youth; no militia, nor any college,” I was surprised at this because he did not finish his education or anything that will help with his resume and yet he was still working and making newspapers. Instead, he decided to make an academy of his own without education which was a lot for him because he did not really have the background for it.

    After reading “The Way to Wealth”, the one saying that I had a connection to was, “There are no Gains without Pains” because in the gym, the saying is “No pain, no gain” because I went to the gym before the pandemic and that is the one rule I go by when I’m working out. In general, there is never a gain without sacrifice, which I think it could be applied to everyone and not just me.

    • Mark

      Excellent overall commentary Richard. You make a very important point about Franklin’s true secret to his success was his reading and learning, which is which he was interested in creating schools and colleges (UPENN). That’s also a funny quote you choose, for it is still found in Gyms today!

  8. Najeh Marcus

    One of the chapters I read was the chapter about Benjamins Franklin’s scientific experiments. If I understood this chapter correctly then he performed the experiment he saw Dr. Spence performed in Boston. Benjamin Franklin encouraged his friend Mr. Collinson to show the other experiments for money but Benjamin Franklin was the one to come up the lectures. It seems like people doubted the information that Benjamin Franklin discovered from his research about lighting and electricity. It also seems like no one wanted to believe America was the one to make such a discovery. Ultimately his book would gain popularity once one of his experiment of drawing lighting from clouds was successful. That moves on the other chapter I read which was his electrical kite experiment. I think this is the experiment that made his book so popular. The electrical kite experiment chapter was just his letter to his friend Peter Collinson on how to do the experiment. It’s really interesting how Benjamin Franklin seeing someone perform electric experiments would to other discoveries. After looking at all the sayings in the chapter “The Way to Wealth” none of them really connect to an experience I had. The saying “There are Gains without Pain” is something people still say to this day. If I had to choose, I guess it would that quote since in a way its meaning can be applied to many different things. Like the loss or sacrifice of one thing for another. I want to apply this meaning to time. Time is something that is scarce. When we want to do something, we need to sacrifice our time. There’s been plenty of times where I had to use my own time to make sure things were completed.

    • Mark

      Excellent response Najeh on BF and his valuing of time and science, in a time when these things are SO important!

  9. Jannatul Fateha

    # Response to “Ancestry and Early Life in Boston”
    The book opens with a letter from Franklin to his son, William. Franklin explains that the memoir is a genealogical record since it took Franklin much labor to track all the family history. It is also perhaps useful since Franklin has become famous over the years. Benjamin Franklin is unusual in that he is able, to be honest about his achievements without being falsely humble nor arrogant. He says he would change the details of some things to look better, but does not have the writing talent to do so. Franklin does not see anything wrong with a little boasting, especially if he thanks God for the vanity first. Franklin learned that for three-hundred years, the oldest son has been apprenticed to a smithing trade, although some eventually found other interests, such as lawyer or politician.

    #Response to “Arrival in Philadelphia”
    In this article, Franklin states that why he gives the details about his difficult journey to Philadelphia and his disreputable-looking appearance when entering the city: “I have been the more particular in this Description of my journey, and shall be so of my first Entry into that City, that you may in your mind compare such unlikely beginnings with the Figure I have since made there.” Though Sir William Keith, the most dramatic example in this section, began to champion Franklin after encountering him only through a letter, the passage abounds with references to people, both humble and proud, who seemed to love Franklin at first sight. William Bradford of New York, a stranger, was enough impressed with young Benjamin to undertake the arduous trip to Philadelphia at least partially on Franklin’s behalf. Bradford’s son Andrew immediately offered the unknown arrival home until he should get a job. Franklin mentions at length a host he encountered on his walk to Burlington, Dr. Brown, who enjoyed Franklin’s conversation and that he remained Franklin’s lifelong friend. Though Franklin gives this magnetic charm little credit for his steady rise, it partially explains why others always seemed eager to help him.

    #Response to “The Way to Wealth”
    The Way to Wealth” must be considered alongside the extraordinary biography of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin rose to the position of a wealthy gentleman from a family of artisans, one of the lower social classes of the time. As the tenth son of 17 children, Franklin was not positioned to inherit a trade as would a firstborn son. He only received two years of formal education, one in a school and one with a private tutor. He educated himself while working all day and staying up until late hours to learn, create, invent, and write. Franklin truly embodied Poor Richard’s advice that “diligence is the mother of good luck.” Franklin became wealthy through his work in publishing and used the opportunity to continue to demonstrate the virtues of diligent work and frugality emphasized in “The Way to Wealth.” Franklin contributed much to the world through his publishing, scientific discoveries, inventions, and public service. He would not have been able to accomplish many of these things without the wealth that he earned. Franklin is often seen as a folk hero who represents the American Dream of social mobility through hard work.

    • Mark

      Jannatul, Thanks for this thorough response. You make a good point that BF is quite honest about his achievements and failures.

      Part of the assignment however is to hear how YOU connect to one of his sayings in “The Way to Wealth” For full credit, please discuss the quote you mention or another to your own experience.

      • Jannatul Fateha

        “Diligence is the mother of good luck.” means If you work carefully and constantly, you will be far more likely to be successful, as if luck had come your way.

        For example, if you’ve been working toward something for five years, I’d say you have a goal in mind, you’ve probably focused on that goal. Hopefully, you’ve been diligent in pursuing it. If your work pays off, which is most likely, people might say you’re just lucky. Maybe so, because you’re lucky enough to have the brains to work hard! When I’m writing a letter, I will spend up to seven or eight weeks putting together notes, collecting articles, dictating stories, and ideas before I even begin to actually put it all together. It’s a long process and it requires patience and perseverance to see it through.

  10. Daniela Martinez

    Response to “Arrival in Philadelphia.”

    “Philadelphia was a hundred miles further; I set out, however, in a boat for Amboy, leaving my chest and things to follow me round by sea.” This quote from the chapter “Arrival in Philadelphia” made me think of when I came to the United States. As Benjamin Franklin described, the United States was a hundred miles away from El Salvador. However, that did not stop me from taking a flight with my mom and leaving all behind for a new life opportunity. In the beginning, everything was new to me, the language, the society, and the American life. Gradually, I started to adapt to all those things, but I encountered many hardships first.

    As I kept reading the chapter, I realized that even a great figure like Benjamin Franklin faced difficulties in his life. For instance, when Benjamin Franklin described his hardships in his travel to Philadelphia and said, “I was thoroughly soak’d, and by noon a good deal tired; so I stopt at a poor inn, where I staid all night, beginning now to wish that I had never left home.” Nevertheless, time always flows, and it sometimes offers good chances when someone is patient and persistent. I think that is how Benjamin Franklin did, and it helped him gain knowledge in Philadelphia among young people of the town and in his business.

    Response to the letter ” Electrical Kite.”

    Reading “Electrical Kite,” I noticed that Benjamin transformed into an acknowledge person comparing to chapter three, “Arrival in Philadelphia.” In the appendix, Franklin is describing the process of his most popular experiment from all times. He formally explains the process compared to the informal speech he used in the first chapters to demonstrate his personal development. I considered that in his letter, Franklin showed how he achieved his personal goal of being successful and knowledgeable.

    Every person goes through that process of personal development in their lives. Benjamin Franklin reflected that from the beginnings of the book to the end.

    Response to “The Way to Wealth.”

    “There are no Gains without Pains.” When I read this quote from “The Way to Wealth,” it made me think of how much I left in El Salvador. Primarily, I left my family, who has gone through many changes and recently lost dearest people. For instance, for me to study in the United States, it cost me not to say a proper goodbye to my recently passed grandfather. It is a recently lost that still pains me, but it has made me stronger than I used to be.

    • Mark

      I am really impressed by this post Daniela. Your connection of BF to your own immigrant story is very real and important. You picked up on one of the most important scenes in BF’s autobiography: arriving in Philadelphia penniless and alone.

      This would make for a fantastic formal essay (#1) by the way.

  11. chris castellon

    After finishing “Beginning Life as a printer” and “Arrival in Philadelphia” I have learned about the history about Benjamin Franklin and his most recent successes. For example he saved his money wisely in order to further educate himself: “From a child I was fond of reading and all the small amount of money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books”. This proves Benjamin was responsible and wise enough to save his money and not be like other folks who waste money to buy little things that have little meaning in their lives. After traveling to different places Benjamin finally settled down and found a job alongside a printer. He made friends who were young and who have a habbit of reading as well and as soon as he knew it he became part of the community and continued working hard and not caring about Boston. In the end Benjamin received great praise from the governor, the governor saw a great future for Benjamin Franklin himself.

  12. Amoy Russell-Jonas

    Response to Chapter Two
    The first chapter that I found interesting is “Beginning Life as a Printer.” This chapter shows Benjamin Franklin’s struggle for success. At a very young age, Benjamin developed an interest in reading and writing articles addressing different life paradigms. Even though Franklin’s father disapproves of his hobby and interest in wring articles, for instance, Franklin’s father says that writing is for the beggers; Franklin never gives up. To boost his writing knowledge, Franklin always goes looking for new books with new ideas. He says that some of the books he read initially were not good books. He goes to the printing house to help his brother and begins his printing career. While doing the printing job, he meets different bookish who assist him further; for instance, they often argue with John on different topics. I like this chapter because it tells me to never give up in life.
    Response to Chapter One
    I also have a great liking for the first chapter. This is because it brings the concept of God and never gives up a message. Franklin tells us about his great grandfathers, who believed in God for their success. Even though they had a humble background, Franklin believed in God for all his success and continuity in whatever he does. This chapter gives me a lot of joy because it points out that no matter the background you come from, you are responsible for your success or failure.
    Response to a Saying in “The way to wealth.”
    One of the sayings used in this article is, “There are no gains, without pains.” This saying is often used to promise greater value rewards for those who work tirelessly for their hard work. Franklin works so hard, breaks the obstacles of criticisms until he rises to success. This wise saying is significant in real life situations because I can testify that each time I work so hard, no matter the pain I have to go through, at the end of it, there has to be something to appreciate for the fight I put.

  13. Afshan S (Lil B)

    Chapter 1
    I find it incredible that Ben Franklin was “the youngest son of the youngest son for five generations back.” It reminds me of that one Pilgrim that managed to stay alive and have children that’d eventually bring George Bush. It’s also crazy that he was able to find out this information. I don’t think I know the names of my great grandparents. What I’m curious about is that it seems like Ben Franklin had 3 kids, why did he only direct this towards one son?

    Chapter 9 – Plan for Attaining Moral Perfection
    Despite never going to school, it’s incredible how Benjamin Franklin’s life was led by his respect and curiosity for academia, being well rounded and knowledgeable in every area of life. In the beginning of the chapter, he talks of living “without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into.” Early in his life he learned just by reading the books available to him, and decided at an early age not to become a clergyman, and instead persisted on becoming more “bookish.” It seems Franklin was fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who were equally bookish and made the Junto club, in which all of his friends would constantly tell each other of the books they’ve read, and forced each other to improve by writing essays and debating philosophically.
    All of the books he’s read and events in his life have led him to strive for a morally “perfect” life. In chapter 2 he also mentioned that he became a vegetarian, and saw eating fish as “unprovoked murder” in chapter 4. He even never drank alcohol, and it seemed like he was never an evangelist against drinking or eating meat. There seems to be a deep academic maturity and a respect for books that Ben Franklin had that lead him to be as well known as he’s become, and it seems well deserved too.

    The Way to Wealth
    One of my favorite quotes from The Way to Wealth is “There are no Gains without Pains.” This is absolutely true for everyone, there are always sacrifices made to be able to gain anything, even if it’s insignificant ones. Right now, I’m still working full time and had thought before the semester started that I’d be able to handle taking 4 classes this semester. I’m fortunate enough to still work, and I’m glad that one of the classes I signed up for was cancelled because this is moderately difficult. I’m incredibly grateful that my classes are online, thank you professor for having this class be asynchronous because I just got swamped with more work a month into the semester. I’m hoping to graduate by next semester, and hopefully things get closer to normal by then.

  14. Jawad Awada

    After reading certain chapters one in particular that definitely stood out to me was the second chapter “Beginning life as a printer”. The title alone can give out the idea that there is going to be some sort of upbringing or evolution in a certain character. Or on the other hand it also gives off the idea that someone excelled at being a printer and made it into something much more important than how it may sound. Along with this chapter “Arrival in Philadelphia” also stood out. There were many things mentioned that I had no idea about, like for example hearing that Benjamin Franklin who happens to be on the 100 dollar bill was someone who enjoys reading books. I always find it interesting when getting to know book lovers mainly because of the fact that I’m the opposite of that. Something that was also a bit shocking was the fact that someone can be on the 100 dollar bill yet can not be as wealthy as someone may think he is. There are seven different historical figures that happen to be physically printed on bills, yet three of the seven did not come from a wealthy background. Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Jackson are those three. Something important that was stated in the first chapter was that when Benjamin Franklin was young he would save his money in order to buy more books. For a young child to have a thinking mind like that one can easily make the assumption that there was going to be something special about a kid like that. In the chapter “Arrival in Philadelphia” Franklin was entering a new world that he had not been introduced too. Being someone who moved a lot, that is something that can be very difficult to adapt to, but for Franklin he managed to get a job as a side printer. He was so young when he got the job as a printer that his work even caught the attention of the governor, which also made him realize that there were big things planned ahead for this kid.

  15. Galileo D

    a. Arrival in Philadelphia
    In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin describes his arrival in Philadelphia one Sunday morning in 1723. He states that he looked like an unmade bed. The story preceding his arrival to Philadelphia shows that he was a very ambitious man. He had worked with his brother, James, and after realizing his brother was not grateful, he decided to run away to Philadelphia. It is interesting to note how determined he was. For instance, he was having a fever during the journey but kept going focusing on the prize. Benjamin had undying determination. When he went to the baker’s shop, he insisted until he was given three puffy rolls for three pennies after refusing to leave the shop when he was told there was nothing he could buy with the pennies. My thoughts are drawn back to his determination o explore his talent in writing. If he had stayed with his brother, maybe he would have failed to explore his talent. His undying determination and perseverance finally paid off and he remains one of the greatest writers in history.
    b. Electrical Kite
    Benjamin and his son William conducted the kite experiment to explore unknown facts and relationship between electricity and lightning. It is interesting noting that in 1752, Benjamin Franklin was already exploring how lightning and electricity are related. My thoughts towards the experiment are that Benjamin was already living ahead of his time. He was not caged by the level of thinking and structures in the society. He was often conflicting with people like his brother because he could not be caged. Franklin did not have formal education. However, he started experimenting with electricity in 1940s leading to the kite experiment. His life is a clear indication that determination and ambition can propel an individual to heights even education may not achieve.

    The Way to Wealth
    In The Way to Wealth, Benjamin Franklin explores some ideas that people should adopt while struggling to succeed. First, he notes that there is no gain without pain. People should be ready to invest and suffer while following the process towards success. I believe that his life is a clear example that perseverance yields success. As a successful businessman, Franklin also focused on worth ethics and its contribution to success. As a student, one can draw from his views on work ethics to remain disciplined and focused throughout our studies. There are no shortcuts to success. Success will ultimately reflect on individual investment and discipline towards worthy courses.

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