Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin ( April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States
Founding Fathers of the United States
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were political leaders and statesmen who participated in the American Revolution by signing the United States Declaration of Independence, taking part in the American Revolutionary War, establishing the United States Constitution, or by some...

. A noted polymath
A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable...

, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician
Politics of the United States
The United States is a federal constitutional republic, in which the President of the United States , Congress, and judiciary share powers reserved to the national government, and the federal government shares sovereignty with the state governments.The executive branch is headed by the President...

, postmaster
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat
Timeline of United States diplomatic history
The diplomatic history of the United States oscillated among three positions: isolation from diplomatic entanglements of other nations ; alliances with European and other military partners; and unilateralism, or operating on its own sovereign policy decisions...

. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment
American Enlightenment
The American Enlightenment is the intellectual thriving period in America in the mid-to-late 18th century, especially as it relates to American Revolution on the one hand and the European Enlightenment on the other...

 and the history of physics
History of physics
As forms of science historically developed out of philosophy, physics was originally referred to as natural philosophy, a term describing a field of study concerned with "the workings of nature".-Early history:...

 for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod
Lightning rod
A lightning rod or lightning conductor is a metal rod or conductor mounted on top of a building and electrically connected to the ground through a wire, to protect the building in the event of lightning...

, bifocals
Bifocals are eyeglasses with two distinct optical powers. Bifocals are most commonly prescribed to people with presbyopia who also require a correction for myopia, hyperopia, and/or astigmatism.-History:...

, the Franklin stove
Franklin stove
The Franklin stove is a metal-lined fireplace named after its inventor, Benjamin Franklin. It was invented in 1741.L.W. Labaree, W. Bell, W.B. Willcox, et al., eds., The Papers of Benjamin Franklin , vol. 2, page 419...

, a carriage odometer
An odometer or odograph is an instrument that indicates distance traveled by a vehicle, such as a bicycle or automobile. The device may be electronic, mechanical, or a combination of the two. The word derives from the Greek words hodós and métron...

, and the glass 'armonica'.

I think opinions should be judged by their influences and effects; and if a man holds none that tend to make him less virtuous or more vicious, it may be concluded that he holds none that are dangerous, which I hope is the case with me.

Letter to his parents (c. 1728) as quoted in Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003) by Walter Isaacson|Walter Isaacson

I believe there is one Supreme most perfect being. ... I believe He is pleased and delights in the happiness of those He has created; and since without virtue man can have no happiness in this world, I firmly believe He delights to see me virtuous.

"Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion" (1728)

Remember that time is money.

Advice to a Young Tradesman (1748)

Much less is it adviseable for a Person to go thither [to America], who has no other Quality to recommend him but his Birth. In Europe it has indeed its Value; but it is a Commodity that cannot be carried to a worse Market than that of America, where people do not inquire concerning a Stranger, What is he? but, What can he do?

Information to Those Who Would Remove to America

Every Body cries, a Union is absolutely necessary, but when they come to the Manner and Form of the Union, their weak Noddles are perfectly distracted.

Letter to Peter Collinson (29 December 1754); published in The Writings of Benjamin Franklin (1905), edited by Albert Henry Smyth, Vol. III, p. 242