- Physical Description: 1 online resource (streaming video file) (56 minutes): digital, .flv file, sound
- Publisher: [San Francisco, California, USA] : PBS, 2002.
Title from title frames.
In Process Record.
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Originally produced by PBS in 2002.
Benjamin Franklin is born the 15th son of a modest candlemaker in puritanical Boston, a world circumscribed by superstition and religious intolerance. Taken out of school at the age of 10 and apprenticed to his brother as a printer, young Ben embarks on a remarkable course of self-education, reading voraciously and teaching himself to write. He eventually breaks his apprenticeship and travels to London, where he is exposed to the new ideas of the Enlightenment, which challenged the belief that one's station in life is fixed and unchanging. Returning to America, he settles in Philadelphia, becoming first a printer and businessman and, eventually, the most prominent newspaper publisher, almanac-maker and civic booster in the colonies, creating Philadelphia's first fire department and the colonies' first lending library. Franklin turns next to science, trying to unravel the mysteries of electricity, which have eluded some of the greatest minds of the day. His discoveries, including the relationship between electricity and lightning, are seen as a triumph of reason over superstition. The once penniless apprentice is now the most celebrated scientist in the world.
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
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