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Benjamin Franklin: Man of Business and Science

This guide gathers books and other resources to aid researchers specifically interested in Franklin's business and science achievements. Also included are general works, such as biographies, some written by Franklin himself


Benjamin Franklin, founding father, scientist, and man of business, is someone who would be at home in the Library's Science & Business Reading Room. He was a true Renaissance man, pursuing his interests in topics as varied as economics, medicine, meteorology, politics, printing and more.

Poor Richard's Almanack is one of Franklin's most well known publications and while it isn't completely a "business" publication, he did include an interest table and helpful calendar for planning. There are countless bon mots and sage advice throughout his writings. In his Necessary Hints for those that would be Rich Franklin provides advice on avoiding accrued interest on purchases:

Yet, in buying Goods, 'tis best to pay ready Money

From his active correspondence with eminent natural philosophers of the time one can learn more about his scientific side. Franklin tinkered with inventions throughout his life, performed famous experiments, and some that are not so famous. He can be named one of the leaders in the establishment of what we know today as surface science. Although he didn't patent any of his inventions, through his correspondences and other writings one can learn about his influence in science and how it helped to form a new nation.

About Business Reference Services

Part of the Science, Technology & Business Division at the Library of Congress, Business Reference Services is the starting point for conducting research at the Library of Congress in the subject areas of business and economics. Here, reference specialists in specific subject areas of business assist patrons in formulating search strategies and gaining access to the information and materials contained in the Library's rich collections of business and economics materials.

About Science Reference Services

Part of the Science, Technology & Business Division at the Library of Congress, Science Reference Services is the principal location for research in the areas of science, technology, technical reports, and standards.