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Jordan Andrei
by on December 25, 2020

When it comes to curiosities about Benjamin Franklin, the most well-known detail is that he was one of the founding fathers of the USA. But in addition to his involvement in politics, Franklin was a scientist famous for his discoveries and theories about electricity, as well as for many inventions.

Franklin is credited with inventing bifocal lenses, lightning rods, flexible catheters, and many other devices we use today.
Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706 and was forced to drop out of school at an early age because his parents did not have enough money to provide him with an education.
However, Franklin did not let the lack of formal education prevent him from becoming one of the most influential personalities in the world.

Although his major scientific achievements are known, there are still other curiosities about Benjamin Franklin that are rarely mentioned.
He had only two classes, but was celebrated at Harvard, Yale and Oxford
Benjamin Franklin attended only two years of school, being forced to drop out of education due to his parents' lack of money. They were producers of soap and candles, and at the age of 10 Franklin began working in the workshop with his father.
At the age of 12, he joined his brother, James, as an apprentice in a printing house. But Franklin had an unstoppable thirst for knowledge and spent his wages on books, sometimes even giving up food to buy.

Later, Benjamin Franklin became recognized as an author, printer, politician, scientist, inventor, activist, statesman and diplomat. And in almost all cases he was self-taught.

Franklin was one of the co-founders of the University of Pennsylvania and received honorary degrees from prestigious universities such as Harvard, Yale and Oxford.

He was a vegetarian
At the age of 16, Benjamin Franklin discovered a book that influenced his decision to stop eating meat: "The Road to Health, Wealth and Happiness," by Thomas Tyron.
Later, he would say about his lifestyle:

"When I was about 16, I read a book written by an author named Tron, which recommended a vegetarian diet. I decided to follow her. My refusal to eat any kind of meat occasionally caused me some inconvenience and I was often reprimanded for my uniqueness. ”
He wrote an essay on flatulence
Here is one of the least known curiosities about Benjamin Franklin. In 1781, while serving as US ambassador to France, Franklin wrote the essay "Don't Be Ashamed of Flatulence," also known as "A Letter to the Royal Academy of Flatulence."

He sent the text to his friends and to Richard Price, a Welsh philosopher and Unitarian priest. In the essay, Franklin proposed conducting a scientific study of flatulence, saying that researchers should develop a drug that would make flatulence less offensive.
He was electrocuted while cooking a turkey
In 1748, Franklin wrote a letter to his friend Peter Collinson of Philadelphia, telling him about a picnic he wanted to have on the banks of the Schuylkill River.

He mentioned that the main course was to be turkey and described how he intended to prepare it:

"A turkey will be slaughtered with electric shocks. Then, the bird will be prepared with the help of an electric grill ".
But while he was preparing the bird, Franklin got pretty badly electrocuted. He later told his brother in a letter that the event had been the biggest blow his ego had suffered.

For the same picnic, Franklin planned to use electricity to ignite flammable liquids, drink alcohol from glasses heated by electricity, and cause more explosions.

10 bodies were found in his cellar
Between 1757 and 1775, Benjamin Franklin lived in a four-story house in London, on Craven Street no. 36. In 1998, during the work of transforming the house into a museum, a worker made a terrible discovery in the basement: a human bone.
Police were called to investigate, and excavations found about 1,200 pieces of bone from ten people, including six children. The bones were over 200 years old and most had been cut or drilled.

As it turned out, the bones had nothing to do with the American inventor. While living in London, he was friends with a man named William Hewson, a former student of anatomist William Hunter.
Researchers believe Hewson used Franklin's basement as an anatomy lab. However, it is unclear whether Franklin was aware of Hewson's activities.

He never patented his inventions
Benjamin Franklin could have made a lot of money from his inventions, but he decided not to patent any, as he believed that anyone should be able to use his ideas freely.

According to Franklin, inventions were meant to simplify everyday life, so everyone had to have them.
“While enjoying the benefits of others' inventions, we should rejoice that we have the opportunity to help others with our own inventions; and we should do this freely and generously, ”Benjamin Franklin wrote in his autobiography.
He created his own alphabet
Here is the latest information from our list of curiosities about Benjamin Franklin. In the 1760s, he developed a phonetic alphabet, which he said was "more natural" than the existing system.

Basically, so-called redundant letters, such as C, J, Q, W, X, and Y, were removed from the Latin alphabet, and six new letters were introduced for sounds that Franklin believed were graphically represented ambiguously.

The alphabet was not widely adopted, but the inventor wrote several letters using this system.

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