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Color enhanced etching of Benjamin Franklin by H. B. Hall, 1879. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was an author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman and diplomat. As a scientist, he invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass 'armonica'. He formed both the first public lending library in America and the first fire department in Pennsylvania. In 1776, he was appointed a member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence.
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