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17.To his life's end, Ben Franklin remained a printer and took pride in it. Wherever he lived in Europe or America, he managed to have a printing press at his disposal. It is no accident that his last will and testament, written at age eighty-three (the year before he died) begins "I, Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia, printer…".18.Ben Franklin first saw himself in print at age 16, writing his controversial, feminist "Silence Do good" letters, published anonymously in his brother's newspaper, The New England Courant. 19.As a teenager Ben Franklin became an expert swimmer. On his visit to London at age nineteen, Ben went on a boating excursion with his printer friends. During the trip he leaped into the Thames River and swam from Chelsea to Blackfriars, performing every kind of feat, under water and above. He had learned these feats in the Schuylkill River at home in Philadelphia. He was so expert that he seriously considered opening a swimming school. 20.At the age of twenty-two, Ben Franklin was the owner of the Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper. His printing company printed the paper money for both Pennsylvania and Delaware. 21.As a young man in his twenties, Ben Franklin was elected clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly, and he used his printing company to print their laws and other business. He was made postmaster of Philadelphia, which helped him circulate his newspaper. 22.Ben Franklin taught himself to read French, Spanish, Latin, and Italian. His passion for self-improvement extended to public projects; he organized the first fire company in the colonies, made designs for paving and lighting Philadelphia streets and for expanding the city watch to a force of police. 23.Ben Franklin, at the age of twenty-one, established the colonies' first circulation library for all interested citizens. The Library Company of Philadelphia, as it was called, housed not only books but also specimens of natural history and scientific apparatus. There were stuffed snakes, a dead...
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