Benjamin Franklin

 
 
Benjamin Franklin    1706 to 1790

 

Benjamin Franklin probably had more influence on the modern media industry than any other figure from history.  In his time he was a printer (Boston, London and Philadelphia); a writer (pen name “Silence Dogood” in New England Courant), a publisher (Pennsylvania Gazette); an editor (Poor Richard’s Almanac); a book store owner (Philadelphia), the first Postmaster General of America, the founder of the world’s first public library; an inventor (bifocals) and a scientist (electricity)

 

As the head of the American postal service under British colonial rule and later after American indpendence he had a major influence on the structure and polices of the US Postal Service and thus on the decision to subsidise newspaper delivery which led to a focus on large, cheap circulations which aided the development of advertising. He saw a postal service as a way of supporting the new America national identity. And the structure of the US Post Office led later influenced the development of the telegraph and telephone networks.

 

He founded the first public library in the world (in Philadelphia) and for those who loved reading but could not see well he invented the bifocal spectacle lens.
 

As scientist his early experiments with electricity contributed to later investigation and thus laid the ground for the study of electromagnetism hence telegraph, the telephone, radio and television