Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a renowned polymath and a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions.He facilitated many civic organizations, including Philadelphia's fire department and the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution.
During the 18th century Franklin was depicted by many famous artists including Jean Baptist Nini, Josiah Wedgwood, and Augustin Dupre to name a few.