Record

Authorised form of nameFranklin; Benjamin (1706 - 1790)
SurnameFranklin
ForenamesBenjamin
Dates1706 - 1790
NationalityBritish
Dates and placesBirth:
Milk Street, Boston, Massachusetts (17 January 1706)
Death:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (17 April 1790)
Burial:
Christ Church burial ground, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
ActivityResearch Field:
Electricity, general physics, oceanography, meteorology, promotion and support of science and international cooperation
Education:
LLD (1759, St Andrews)
Career:
Worked with his father, a tallow chandler; apprenticed to his brother James, a printer who started a newspaper about 1709; went to London and worked in a printing office in Bartholomew Close (1724-1726?); returned to Philadelphia and established a printing house; bought the Pennsylvania Gazette (1729); began publishing "Poor Richard's almanac" (1732); Clerk of the Assembly (1736); Postmaster of Philadelphia (1737); Postmaster General for the colonies (1754); experimented on electricity (1749 and 1752) and suggested the use of lightning conductors; was sent to Great Britain (1757 and 1764-1775); received the Freedom of St Andrews; sent to Paris (1776); returned to Philadelphia (1785); elected President of the State of Pennsylvania; delegate to the Convention which framed the Constitution of the United States; retired from public life (1788)
Royal Society activityMembership:
Fellow
Election Date:
29/05/1756
Medals/Prizes:
Copley Medal 1753 for his curious experiments on electricity
SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DAB; DSB
References:
Esmond Wright, 'Benjamin Franklin After 200 Years', review of Claude A Lopez, ed., The Papers of Benjamin Franklin vol 27, in NR 1990 vol 44 pp 269-279, plate
Frank R Freemon, 'American Colonial Scientists Who Published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society' in NR 1984-85 vol 39 pp 191-206
William P Griffith, 'Priestley in London' in NR 1983-84 vol 38 pp 1-16
Bernard Bailyn, '1776: The British Dimension' in NR 1976-7 vol 31 pp 179-199
R V Jones, 'Benjamin Franklin' in NR 1976-7 vol 31 pp 201-225, plate
R W Home, 'Some Manuscripts on Electrical and Other Subjects Attributed to Thomas Bayes, FRS' in NR 1974-5 vol 29 pp 81-90
Paul A Tunbridge, 'Franklin's Pointed Lightning Conductor' in NR 1973-4 vol 28 pp 207-219
John R Levene, 'Benjamin Franklin, FRS, Sir Joshua Reynolds, FRS, PRA, Benjamin West, PRA and the Invention of Bifocals' in NR 1972-3 vol 27 pp 141-163, plate
J D Holland, 'An Eighteenth-Century Pioneer - Richard Price, DD, FRS (1723-1791)' in NR 1968 vol 23 pp 43-64
John Thomas, 'Josiah Wedgwood's Portrait Medallions of Fellows of the Royal Society' in NR 1963 vol 18 pp 45-53, plate
F M Beatty 'The Scientific Work of the the Third Earl Stanhope' in NR 1954-55 vol 11 pp.202-221
D McKie, 'A Note on Priestley in America' in NR 1953 vol 10 pp 51-59
Jessie M Sweet, 'Benjamin Franklin's Purse' in NR 1952 vol 9 pp 308-309
Albert C Seward, 'The Dedication of the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania in Honour of Benjamin Franklin' in NR 1938 vol 1 pp 55-60
Patricia Fara, 'Letters from a scientific emperor', review of Neil Chambers, 'The letters of Sir Joseph Banks: a selection 1768 - 1829' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp 264-265
R W Home, 'The Royal Society and the Empire: the colonial and Commonwealth Fellowship. Part 1. 1731-1847' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp 307-332
R W Jones, 'Dalton's unfortunate choice' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 15-33
J L Heilbron 'Benjamin Franklin in Europe: electrician, academician, politician' NR 2007 Vol 61 pp353-374
Royal Society codeNA7974
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
IM/001540Franklin, Benjaminnd
IM/001541Franklin, Benjaminnd
M/242Franklin, Benjamin1956
MM/4/84Letter from Henry Cavendish, William Watson, Benjamin Franklin and J Robertson, to the Royal Society18 November 1773
MM/11/41Notes from the minutes of meetings of the Purfleet Magazine Committee1772
EC/1756/04Franklin, Benjamin: certificate of election to the Royal Society
P/0046Portrait of Franklin, Benjamin1782
IM/005839Franklin, Benjamin2001
IM/005852Franklin, Benjaminnd
MM/4/2Letter from Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia, to the Royal Society29 May 1754
IM/005853Franklin, Benjaminnd
M/079Franklin, Benjamin
NLB/5/846Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Mr B F Stevens, 4 Trafalgar Square, W.C.2 November 1891
MM/5/39Memorial from the Royal Society to King George III concerning the Transit of Venus of 1769c.1768
NLB/64/648Copy letter from Francis Alexander Towle, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to A.H. Heusser Esq. Paterson, New Jersey USA24 May 1923
L&P/3/70Letter, 'Extract of a letter concerning electricty and Beccaria's book' from Benjamin Franklin to M Deliband29 June 1755
L&P/5/166Letter, 'On the appearance of lightning on a mainmast conductor' from Captain J L Winn to Benjamin Franklin1 February 1770
L&P/4/411Letter, 'Of a new electrical machine [electrometer] and of some experiments made with it' from Timothy Lane to Benjamin Franklin1767
L&P/2/343Letter, 'Of an electrical kite' from Benjamin Franklin to Peter Collinson3 October 1752
L&P/2/212Paper, 'Account of Benjamin Franklin's book, Experiments and Observations on Electricity' by William Watson1751
L&P/2/238Letter, 'Of the effects of lightning' from Benjamin Franklin to Peter Collinson 29 June 1751
L&P/2/307Letter, 'Of electricity from the clouds, anent the experiments of Franklin' from Jean Antoine Nollet to William Watson6 June 1752
L&P/2/198Letter, 'Of electrical experiments' from Benjamin Franklin to Peter Collinson4 February 1751
L&P/3/223Letter, 'Extract of a letter sent from Philadelphia' from Benjamin Franklin to Peter Collinson23 September 1756
L&P/2/387Letter, 'Of the transit of Mercury over the Sun at Antigua 6 May 1753' from William Shervington to Benjamin Franklin20 June 1753
L&P/3/72Paper, 'Electrical experiments' by Benjamin Franklin14 March 1755
L&P/4/97Letter, 'On the aurora' from John Bartram to Benjamin Franklin12 November 1757
L&P/5/12Paper, 'Account of Dr Priestley's new new experiments in electricity drawn up by Benjamin Franklin'1768
L&P/4/392Letter, 'Thermometric observations at Derby' from John Whitehurst to Benjamin Franklin5 February 1767
L&P/3/278Letter, 'Of electricity in paralytic cases' from Benjamin Franklin to John Pringle21 December 1757
L&P/4/153Letter, 'On electrical experiments' from Ebenzer Kinnersley to Benjamin Franklin12 March 1763
L&P/3/420Letter, 'Of electrical experiments' from Giovanni Battista Beccaria to Benjamin Franklin17 December 1759
L&P/3/422Paper, 'Remarks on Beccaria's letter (L&P/3/420)' by Benjamin Franklin1760
L&P/6/60Letters, 'Of oil on waves' from William Brownrigg and Benjamin Franklin to each other27 January 1773
L&P/6/22Letter, 'An aurora' by J L Winn to Benjamin Franklin22 January 1774
L&P/5/169Letter, 'Of the transit of Venus and the aberration of light' from John Winthrop to Benjamin Franklin6 September 1769
L&P/8/36Letter, 'On the hydrogen balloon' from Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Banks30 August 1783
L&P/5/295Letter, 'On electrical phenomena' from Thomas Ronayne to Benjamin Franklin15 February 1772
L&P/5/205Letter, 'Observation of the transit of Mercury, giving times observed by J Winthrop' from Benjamin Franklin to Nevil Maskelyne12 February 1770
L&P/6/26Letter, 'Of the solar spots' from Humphry Marshall to Benjamin Franklin3 May 1773
L&P/8/37Letter, 'On the hot-air balloon' from Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Banks8 October 1783
L&P/6/32Letter, 'Diagrams of sunspots' from Humphry Marshall to Benjamin Franklin1773
L&P/6/94Letter, 'Of a machine for raising water in use at Culton in Cheshire' from John Whitehouse to Benjamin Franklin1775
IM/001539Franklin, Benjaminnd
EL/M3/36aJoseph Morgan to Benjamin Franklin, postmaster in Philadelphia11 October [1738]
MS/426/537Copy letter from W [William] Sharpey, Secretary of the Royal Society; to Edwin Canton28 April 1855
L&P/6/52Letter, 'Of stilling the waves with oil' from Benjamin Franklin to William Brownrigg7 November 1773
IM/001543Franklin, Benjamin2001
EL/M3/36bJoseph Morgan to the Royal SocietyAugust 1738
IM/005680Franklin, Benjaminnd
IM/004127Franklin, Benjamin to Canton, John2000
MS/391/108Bond of John Winthrop to the Treasurer of the Royal Society11 December 1766
L&P/5/106Paper, 'Report on preserving St Paul's Cathedral from the effects of lightning' by the Royal Society Committee7 June 1769
L&P/5/304Letter, 'Of a new electrometer by William Henley; and of several experiments made by him' from Joseph Priestley to Benjamin Franklin26 October 1770
M/078Franklin, Benjamin
NLB/5/1044Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Clarence W Bowen, 25 Broadway, New York [USA]18 December 1891
IM/005851Franklin, BenjaminOctober 1891
IM/001542Linnaeus, Carl1792
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