Electric ...
Ben Franklin

All About the Benjamin

How much do you know about America's rennaisance man? Take the quiz below and find out!

Here's a helpful hint: All the answers can be found somewhere on this website.

1) Where was Benjamin Franklin born?
a) Philadelphia
b) Washington
c) Paris
d) Boston
Answer: d) Boston

Franklin was born in the city of Boston, but, at the age of 17, he moved to Philadelphia, which he called home for the rest of his days. Or as Dr. S. Weir Mitchell memorably expressed it, "Franklin was born in Philadelphia at the age of 17."

2) Franklin's first job was as an apprentice printer producing and distributing what publication?
a) The New England Courant
b) The Philadelphia Inquirer
c) The Boston Globe
d) Poor Richard's Almanac
Answer:   a)The New England Courant

The Courant was published by his older brother, James. Ben began assisting at the age of 12.

3) Which of the following musical instruments was invented by Franklin?
a) Armonica
b) Harmonica
c) Glass marimba
d) Accordian
Answer:  a) Armonica

While sometimes erroneously called a "glass harmonica" Franklin named his invention a "glass armonica" or just "armonica." The harmonica is an entirely different instrument, invented in Europe several decades after Franklin's armonica.

4) Ben Franklin signed which of these historic documents?
a)The Articles of Confederation
b)The Emancipation Proclamation
c)The Constitution
d)The Monroe Doctrine
Answer:  c) The Constitution

Franklin was a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution

5) The name of the first newspaper Ben Franklin published himself was:
a) The New England Courant
b) The Pennsylvania Gazette
c) Poor Richard's Almanac
d) The Franklin Report
Answer:  b) Franklin bought The Pennsylvania Gazette in 1729, and took over publication as well as contributing articles .

6) During the Americn Revolution, Franklin was instrumental in securing an alliance with which nation?
a) Spain
b) Russia
c) Germany
d) France
Answer:  d)France

Without the alliance with France, the American Revolution may never have succeeded, and without the diplomatic skill of Benjamin Franklin, that alliance might never have happened.

7) Franklin's famous kite experiment demonstyrated what?
a)That lightning was essentially the same as the current produced in batteries
b)The relationship between electricty and magnetism
c)That lightning orignated within clouds
d)The existence of electricity

Answer:  a) Although people often oversimplify his discovery by stating that "Ben Franklin discovered electricty," people were aware of the existence of electricty since long before Franklin and his kite . But Franklin demonstrated that the 'substance' flowing through the air in lighting bolts was essentially the same as that seen in simple chemical batteries, albeit far more powerful.

8)Which of the following is not a quotation of Franklin's?
a) A penny saved is a penny earned
b) An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
c) Two wrongs don't make a right
d) Little strokes fell great oaks.
Answer:  c) Two wrongs don't make a right

The earliest known use of this proverb dates to a 1734 poem published in The London Magazine. Franklin was a young man at the time, but he had nothing to do with this bit of wisdom. The other quotations are all Franklin's, published in either Poor Richard's Almanac or The Pennsylvania Gazette

9) Franklin helped organize which of the following to contribute to public health and safety in Philadelphia?
a) Flood-prevention measures
b) Police Department
c) Fire Department
d) Neighborhood Crime Watch
Answer:  c) Franklin incorporated some of the organizational approaches taken in his native Boston to his adopted city of Philadelphia, which suffered heavy fire losses before Ben came along. When fires broke out, good citizens would certainly rally to the cause of putting it out, but it was a chaotic affair undertaken spontaneoiusly by whatever volunteers happened to be around and choose to take action. Franklin championed the need for an organized body specifically dedicated to fighting fires, culminating in the formation of the Union Fire Company on December 7, 1736.

10) Which of the following dramatically reduced the amount of fuel needed to heat a home in the winter?
a) Insulation
b) The Franklin Stove
c) Electricty
d) The Franklin fuel pump
Answer:   b) the Franklin Stove

The idea behind the Franklin Stove is simple: Heat that goes up a chimney isn't heating your home. Instead of burning logs in a brick fireplace up against a wall, Franklin constructed it of metal, which would absorb and radiate heat, and placed it in the middle of the room.

Click for Ben Franklin Posters