Benjamin Franklin Court
Chestnut between 3rd and 4th Sts.
Benjamin Franklin was one of the first great men of America. He was a populist, statesman, inventor, diplomat, writer, and businessman among many other things. Franklin was an entrepreneur like no other America had seen. He was the first media mogul of the fledging nation, running the most successful newspaper, having the top selling book and magazine-serial. He also originated the 'franchise' idea, turning his printing press into a large business. It was said that by the turn of the 19th century, every print operator had either worked in a Franklin Press or was trained by someone who did.
Franklin was the first postmaster general of the United States, and he revamped the entire system, inventing a device that could measure distances as to plan out mail routes. He wanted to make the Postal Service official and reliable. He also used his postal position to raise the distribution of Poor Richard's Almanac.
Even though Franklin was a politcal liberal at the time, he did extoll some modern Republican virtues. He was a staunch believer in a firm work ethic. He was raised in a poor family, but his enterprises made him a millionaire by age 42. He said "Laziness trends so slowly that Poverty soon overtakes it." He also originated the saying "no gain without pain." Franklin did not like the new welfare state started in England, claiming that it encouraged sloth and idleness.