Ben had many learning adventures during and after his years as an apprentice, journeyman, and master printer. This timeline lists the major events in his life.

1706: Born in Boston, Massachusetts.

1718: Begins printing apprenticeship to his brother.

1723: Moves to Philadelphia, PA, to work as a printer.

1724: Moves to London and works in a printer’s shop there.

1726: Returns to Philadelphia.

1727: Establishes the Junto in Philadelphia, a social and scholarly group for ‘mutual improvement’; members gathered to discuss topics in politics, philosophy, science, and other areas.

1728: Opens a print shop of his own in Philadelphia.

1729: Publishes the “Pennsylvania Gazette.”

1730: Marriage (common-law) with Deborah Read.

1731: Writes the charter for the Library Company of Philadelphia. The Library Company began as a subscription library for Franklin’s Junto.

1732: Publishes “Die Philadelphische Zeitung.” Although short lived, this was the first German-language newspaper published in America.

1732-1758: Publishes “Poor Richard’s Almanack,” a yearly compilation of days of the year, dates in history, weather patterns, astronomical data, and proverbs. Writes under the pseudonym Richard Saunders.

1743: Founds the American Philosophical Society. Daughter Sally is born; joins Ben’s son William in the Franklin household.

1746: Conducts experiments with electricity.

1748: Retires from printing.

1751: Publishes “Experiments and Observations on Electricity.”

1752: Experiments with kite and lightning.

1757: Travels to London; composes “The Way to Wealth.” Acts as a representative for the American colonies.

1771: Franklin begins composing his memoirs, now known as “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.”

1775-1776: Served as the Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention.

1776: Signs the Declaration of Independence, which declared that the thirteen American colonies were independent and no longer British.

1778: Negotiates Treaty of Alliance with France.

1782: Negotiates peace with Great Britain.

1783: Signs the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War between the United States and Great Britain. John Adams and John Jay were co-signers of the treaty.

1785-1788: Serves as Governor of Pennsylvania.

1787: Signs the Constitution of the United States.

1790: Dies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.