United States History Question of the Day

©Greg Feldmeth 2013

The American Da Vinci

Ben Franklin, colonial America's
Renaissance man
(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons--public domain)

Question 131420:

Benjamin Franklin had more interests than most of his contemporaries. To what does the following quote from his autobiography refer?

At the time I establish'd myself in Pennsylvania, there was not a good bookseller's shop in any of the colonies to the southward of Boston. In New York and Philad'a the printers were indeed stationers; they sold only paper, etc., almanacs, ballads, and a few common school-books. Those who lov'd reading were oblig'd to send for their books from England; the members of the Junto had each a few. We had left the alehouse, where we first met, and hired a room to hold our club in. I propos'd that we should all of us bring our books to that room, where they would not only be ready to consult in our conferences, but become a common benefit, each of us being at liberty to borrow such as he wish'd to read at home. This was accordingly done, and for some time contented us.

A) his print business in Philadelphia
B) his role as a founding member of the American Philosophical Society
C) his scientific experiments and inventions
D) his pioneering studies in population growth
E) his establishment of America's first lending library

Answer & Explanation

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