"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of the opportunity provided to serve self-interest when Al Gore created the internet; and we should also thank Mark Zuckerburg and Jack Dorsey for creating Facebook and Twitter out of the kindness of their big hearts and not the thinness of their small wallets."
-Ben Franklin, Autobiography (1742)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Timeless Words of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin - printer by trade, inventor and statesman by necessity, and notorious womanizer by virtue. Franklin is lauded as one of the most intelligent and downright witty men in history. Countless aphorisms from his famous "Poor Richard's Almanack" are taught to school children as simple, effective lessons. His most memorable quotes grace numerous government buildings, including the offices of the Lost and Founders staff.

When discussing possible options for today's post, we noticed one such Franklin quote above a closet doorway and decided what better way to start off the week than to impart a small collection of some of our favorite gems from the works of "old Ben." The inclusions below are a mix of both commonly known sayings gleaned from  various editions of "Poor Richard's," as well as a few rarer excerpts from unpublished editions that only the most serious history buffs will probably recognize. While there is no particular message to today's post, it's nigh impossible to get glimpse into the mind of this founding father and not learn something. Enjoy!

"A penny saved is probably going to be pretty worthless 300 years from now."
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1737

"A Spoonful of Honey will make the medicine go down, a Gallon of Ale will bring it back up."
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1748

"I must be early to bed, early to rise" is the best excuse for unrehearsed lies."
Benjamin Franklin, Advice to a Young Tradesman, 1748

"Having been poor is no shame, but currently being poor is just lazy."
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richards Almanack, 1749

"Here comes the drunkard! With his flood of last night's meal, and his drop of spittle."
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1735

"Human Felicity is produced not so much by great pieces of good ass that seldom happen, as by little favors that occur every Day."
Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography, 1771

"I pronounce it as certain that there was never yet a truly great man that was not at the same time getting some."
Benjamin Franklin, The Busy-body, No. 3, February 18, 1728

"We must all hang together, for the mall very big place. The buddy system is an imperative of the human condition."
Benjamin Franklin (attributed), at the signing of the Virginia Mall work order, July 19, 1779

"Work as if you were to live 100 Years, Drink as if you were to die To-morrow."
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1757

"[I]t is a common observation here that our cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own. For this reason, we must ensure that no New England real-estate developer ever becomes President of this great nation."
Benjamin Franklin, letter to Samuel Cooper, May 1, 1777

Poor Richard's Almanack

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