I seem to be on a history/nostalgia kick this week, so why mess up a good thing…
Don’t know how I got there, but I ended up on a site that listed all the things Benjamin Franklin accomplished in his lifetime. Suffice it to say that he wasn’t just the guy who discovered electricity and invented the lightning rod. Rather, I think I’d say that he was probably the most prolific and creative thinker of his generation – maybe of all generations. People like Einstein were brilliant, but usually only in one field of endeavor. Not so with Benjo. Have a look at some of what he accomplished, as compiled in world-famous Ben Franklin actor Ralph Archbold’s site:
- Established the first police and fire departments
- Founded the first hospital in the US
- Started the first circulation (lending) library
- Invented the bifocal and swim fins (those are the coolest)
- Designed a rocking chair that had a fan on it, whose blades would turn when the sitter rocked the chair
- Designed the Franklin Stove, which conserved and provided more heat than the traditional fireplace
- Invented the glass armonica, a musical instrument using water in glass bowls – Mozart and Beethoven wrote pieces of music for it
- Started the first insurance company
- Was instrumental in founding two colleges
- Served as the country’s first Postmaster
But some of my favorite witty quotes were also spoken by Franklin:
Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.
Do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
Half a truth is often a great lie.
He that won’t be counseled can’t be helped.
How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.
I’m workin’ on that last one myself…