Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston on January 17, 1706. He would be the tenth out of seventeen children that his father, Josiah Franklin, would have. His father had plans for Benjamin to join the clergy when he came of age and was sent to grammar school to prepare. He would excel in reading at a very young age but would find that he could not master math so easy. He would be at the grammar school for less than a year before his father would come to terms with not being able to support a college education for Benjamin and supporting the rest of the large family. Benjamin would then be sent to another school which would teach him basic math and English skills. There, he would surpass the rest of class in English while eventually failing arithmetic yet again causing his father to pull him from school all together. At the age of 10 Benjamin would be taken home to learn the family business. While learning to make soap and candles from his father, Benjamin became restless; he yearned to go to sea much like his brother Josiah. He would go out the lake and play like the other children but Benjamin did not swim as well as the others, so he devised a tool that was made from sticks and cloth to cover his hands and feet to help him tread. Swimming fins would be one of his first inventions. From a young age Benjamin proved to be very different from his father and the rest of his family. His father sensing his child’s unhappiness would help him look for a new trade. Unbeknownst to Benjamin, watching the common man work would influence him down the path of inventor he would inevitably take,
“He therefore sometimes took me to me to walk with him, and see joiners, bricklayers, braziers, etc. at their work, that he might observe my inclination, and endeavor to fix it on some trade or other on land, and to construct little machines for my experiments, while the intention of making the experiments was fresh and warm in my mind.”(p 12, Benjamin Franklin)
His father would see his son was found of reading so an apprenticeship would be set up for twelve year old Benjamin with his twenty-one year old brother. During his five year apprenticeship Franklin would live under strict guidelines which included taverns being off limits as well as gambling and marriage. Franklin would continue to long for the sea but found that while on land he would indeed prefer ink over the tallow of his father’s shop. He would there self educate himself through reading as many books as he could when he wasn’t printing. A long time customer of the printing shop would come to ask Franklin if he would like to run a private library. There he fell in a deeper love with knowledge and studied arithmetic, navigation, grammar, and logic. He also was introduced to contemporary free-thinkers like Shaftsbury and Collins. Along with Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Xenophon’s Memorabilia one could see that Franklin was influenced by these men and would use...