Benjamin Franklin was one of the founding father of the United States. His face graces the $100 bill to honor his contribution to the creation of the American nation.
Who was Benjamin Franklin?
Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, printer, scientist and politician. He was born in 1706 to a soap maker, into a family of ten sons. One of his brothers started the first newspaper in Boston and Benjamin apprenticed with him. He began writing articles for the paper without his brother knowing, under the pen name of Silence Dogood. In 1729, Franklin printed a paper called the Pennsylvania Gazette and in 1733 he started Poor Richard’s Almanac. He invented swim fins, bifocal glasses and a glass harmonica. Tying a metal key to a kite to attract lighting, he worked with electricity in 1750 and became famous around the world. In the political arena, Franklin went to represent Pennsylvania in England in 1757. He liked living in England, and when America opposed England’s Stamp Act, he was able to speak on behalf of the colonies and get the British Parliament to withdraw the tax.
Benjamin Franklin and the founding of the United States
Franklin completely broke off his support of England’s control of the colonies in an event called the “Hutchinson Affair.” The governor of Massachusetts at that time was appointed by the King of England. Though the governor was supposed to represent Massachusetts, Franklin found he was on the side of the king. At that point Franklin began working for independence from British rule. He had a son named William who was the king’s appointed governor of New Jersey. The two were alienated from this point on. Franklin was elected to and served on the Second Continental Congress. This was the committee of five men who wrote the Declaration of Independence. After signing the Declaration in 1776, Franklin went to France to serve as the ambassador to Louis XVI’s court. He returned to America when he was in his seventies and then served as President of the Council of Pennsylvania. He was then a delegate at the Constitutional Convention. One of the signers of the Constitution, Franklin also wrote a treatise against slavery. He passed away in 1790 and had twenty thousand people attend his funeral.
Franklin on the $100 bill
It’s fitting that a man who was involved in early printing and the who played such a large and abiding role in the founding of America would have his likeness on the $100 bill. In 1969, the larger denominations of paper money were retired, leaving the $100 bill the largest currency in circulation. Franklin’s face first graced the $100 bill in 1914. This was a Federal Reserve Note. The size of the paper dollars changed in 1929 and Franklin’s face was on one side with an engraving of Independence Hall on the other.