During the 1730s, Franklin was active in civic projects, founding the first public library and the first fire company in America. He also began publishing his popular Poor Richard's Almanack, full of wise and funny sayings. In the 1740s, Franklin grew interested in science, especially the study of electricity. He conducted a series of experiments and discovered that lightning is electrical. His discoveries made him famous in Europe as well as America.In 1748, Franklin retired from the printing business and devoted himself fulltime to science and civic leadership, founding a hospital and a volunteer militia. In 1751, he was elected to the Pennsylvania assembly, where he quickly rose to power. When war with the French and Indians threatened in the mid-1750s, Franklin attended a meeting of colonial governments in Albany, where he drafted the Albany Plan of Union.
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American Philosophical Society, assembly tax Pennsylvania, unofficial American ambassador