St. Paul, Minnesota

Nov. 27, 2009 - July 4, 2010
Minnesota History Center

Santa Ana, California

Dec. 16, 2010 – Mar. 13, 2011
Bowers Museum

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Apr. 14, 2011 – July 31, 2011
Heinz History Center

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Sept. 2, 2011 – Jan. 8, 2012
Gerald Ford Museum

Washington, D.C.

Febr. 10, 2012 – May 6, 2012
National Archives

Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World


Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

CAREER OBJECTIVE: Secure a challenging position or positions in which I can apply my collaboration, mediation and relationship-building skills to create a better world


  • Completed two years of elementary education
  • Participated in self-education program, reading the works of Plutarch, Daniel Defoe and Cotton Mather, among others (1717-1720)
  • Awarded honorary degrees from Harvard and Yale (1753)
  • Awarded honorary Master of Arts degree from William and Mary College (1756)
  • Awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland (1759)
  • Awarded honorary doctorate degree from Oxford University, England (1762)

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: (Select highlights only)


  • Progressed from apprentice to owner/proprietor of print shop; proficiency in all forms of printing with particular expertise in the printing of currency
  • Served as apprentice to master printer James Franklin in Boston (1718-1723)
  • Co-founded Philadelphia printing office with partner Hugh Meredith (1728)
  • Launched one of the nation’s first printing franchises in South Carolina (1731)
  • Selected as official printer for colonies of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey; printed currency for New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware (beginning in 1731)

Author and Publisher

  • Wrote and published numerous pamphlets and articles that influenced colonial decision makers, ultimately leading to independence from England; demonstrated scope of writing abilities by authoring books and articles for general population
  • Authored a series of letters to my newspaper and others under various pseudonyms, including Silence Dogood, Alice Addertongue and Harry Meanwell (beginning in 1722)
  • Published "A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain" (1725)
  • Purchased and published "The Pennsylvania Gazette"; introduced innovative journalistic policy of presenting various sides of an issue (1729)
  • Wrote and published "A Modest Enquiry into the Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency" (1729)
  • Published "Poor Richard’s Almanack," one of the colonies’ first best-sellers (1732-1757)
  • Launched "Philadelphische Zeitung," America’s first German-language newspaper (1732)
  • Published "The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle," one of the first magazines in the nation (1741)
  • Published America's first political cartoon in "Plain Truth," a pamphlet advocating improved military preparedness (1747)

Civil Servant

  • Initiated new services to improve the quality of life in the colonies; served in a variety of leadership positions to assure the execution lived up to the vision
  • Established The Library Company, the nation's first, successful public lending library (1731)
  • Introduced bills and/or influenced governing bodies to provide numerous municipal services and amenities, including street lighting and cleaning, paved streets and nighttime constable patrols (1735-1756)
  • Lobbied for and organized Union Fire Company, one of the first fire protection programs in Philadelphia (1736)
  • Appointed Clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly (1736)
  • Held various positions of increasing responsibility in the colonies' postal service; served as Postmaster of Philadelphia; named Deputy Postmaster General for North America; mapped postal routes throughout the colonies; established colonies' first Dead Letter Office; served as Postmaster General for North America; appointed postmistress of Boston (the first woman to hold public office) (beginning in 1737)
  • Founded the Academy and College of Philadelphia, later renamed the University of Pennsylvania (1749)
  • Co-founded Pennsylvania Hospital, the first public hospital in the colonies (1751)
  • Led consortium of fire companies to establish the Philadelphia Contributionship, the colonies' first insurance company (1751)
  • Selected by Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Jersey and Massachusetts to serve as colonial agent; later served as unofficial spokesman for all 13 colonies (1757-1770)
  • Served as chairman of the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety (1775-1776)
  • Served as president of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery (1789)

Statesman and Diplomat

  • Served as key member of the team that overthrew existing rule of King George III over 13 North American colonies; provided input and influenced establishment of a new form of self-government; secured international support and assistance
  • Drafted "Plan of Union" (1754), which laid the groundwork for the "Articles of Confederation" (1775)
  • Elected as Pennsylvania’s delegate to Second Continental Congress (1775)
  • Participated in activities to protest the Stamp Act (1766)
  • Served on team that drafted the "Declaration of Independence" (1776)
  • Selected as a Commissioner of Congress to the French Court; represented the colonies interests with the French government; negotiated with King Louis XVI to provide colonies with military support in war against Britain; secured loans to help finance American Revolution; assisted in negotiating the four-way "Treaty of Paris" with France, Great Britain, Spain, and America (1776-1783)
  • Signed the three key documents that established America as an independent nation: "Declaration of Independence" (1776), the "Treaty of Paris" (1783) and the "Constitution" (1787)
  • Served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention to address management, defense, the economy and other problems confronting 13 disparate colonies (1787)
  • Participated in debates that resulted in the "Constitution"; influential in guaranteeing individual rights and devising a balance of three branches of government; encouraged other delegates to sign the "Constitution" despite obvious flaws (1787)


  • Took early leadership role in recognizing need to preserve the environment
  • Led environmental protest against polluting slaughter houses, tan yards and skinner lime pits on the public dock (1739)
  • Organized a fundraising drive to support John Bartram's trips to the South to collect plant specimens (1742)


  • Conceptualized, designed and/or improved many devices that enhance quality of life
  • Swim fins (ca. 1717)
  • Franklin/Pennsylvania stove (winter of 1740/1741)
  • Lightning rod (1750)
  • Street lamps which were easier to repair and clean (1756)
  • Better ways to keep streets cleaner and deal with waste management (ca. 1755)
  • Discovered that electricity existed in storm clouds, in the form of lightning (1752)
  • Flexible catheter (1752)
  • Improved colonial postal system, as Deputy Postmaster General (1753-1774)
  • Three-wheel clock that was simpler than other designs (1757)
  • Glass armonica, a musical instrument made of spinning glass (1762)
  • Bifocals (1784)
  • Long arm (extension arm) to reach high books (1786)

Scientist and Meteorologist

  • Satisfied curiosity about weather and its impact on the environment through research and a series of experiments
  • Accurately theorized the existence of high and low pressure and proposed one of the first correct explanations for storm movement in the northern hemisphere (1743)
  • Organized the first American voyage to explore the Arctic (1753)
  • Charted first map of the Gulf Stream currents and temperatures for the purpose of increasing speed of ocean travel (1768)


  • Composed ballad in commemoration of the capture of Blackbeard the Pirate (1719)
  • Invented glass armonica for which both Mozart and Beethoven composed several pieces to feature the instrument (1761)
  • Played the viola de gamba, violin, guitar and harp


  • Awarded Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London for research in electricity (1753)
  • Namesake of the "Franklinia alatamaha" tree, a flowering tree propagated by botanist John Bartram (1765)
  • Inducted into the Hall of Fame For Great Americans (1900), International Swimming Hall of Fame – Honor Contributor (1968), Electrostatics Hall of Fame (1979), Cooperative Hall of Fame (1987), American Mensa Hall of Fame (1990) and the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame (1999), among others

REFERENCES: Furnished upon request