Franklin and the Beer Quote

Walking around the streets of Boston, one may see a person wearing a shirt or see a souvenir beer glass with the quote, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” with the credit of who said it being given to Benjamin Franklin.

Just like this (sorry if it’s blurry)…



However, this glass and any other souvenir or shirt with this quote printed on it, are very misleading as Franklin did not actually say those exact words. Instead, in a letter addressed to a man named, Abbe Morellet, Franklin is accredited with saying,

“We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana, as of a miracle. But this conversation is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy!”

He is talking about wine in this quote, not beer! So, it is clear that Franklin had been misquoted, but most likely on purpose. Any tourist looking at a souvenir with this made up quote and being unaware of this little distortion of Franklin’s real quote would most likely find it comical. They would read the quote about beer, see it associated with a famous person who many people are knowledgeable to some degree about, and buy it. This allows the item to be popular, ultimately making it a selling point and helping businesses make a profit off the items.

Franklin was a funny man, writing about farting and other comical things, but there is no actual documentation of Franklin saying these exact words about beer and God loving us in this famous misquote.


The First Class Experiment

It has been awhile, but before spring break, the class conducted its first Benjamin Franklin experiment where we attempted to make electricity and create a charge on either balloons or combs. For the experiment, each person blew up there own balloon to their preferred size or received a comb. Everyone then received a square of felt, which was used to rub the entire balloon or comb for practically the whole class period. By rubbing the balloon or comb with the piece of felt, we were each trying to generate some sort of electrical charge. The way it was determined on whether or not we were successful was when Professor Allison would walk around the classroom holding a piece of cardboard, and attached to it was foil dangling from a wire. He would come over and hold the contraption close to the balloon or comb, and the foil would either remain still or pull towards the object that was rubbed by the felt. The more it pulled toward the object, the more electrical charge that was generated.

I found that I was somewhat successful with the experiment. I spent the entire class rubbing my balloon with the felt, however, only seemed to generate a little bit of a charge as the foil pulled only slightly towards my balloon. There could be a few reasons for this. I blew the balloon up to a pretty big size, so it could be possible that if I blew the balloon up smaller, more electricity would be generated as I would be dealing with a smaller area.  The other reason is that I was holding the balloon from the top, not from where the tie was, so it is also possible that the charges were transferring from the balloon to my hand as I continued to rub the felt on the balloon, causing only the slight pull by the foil to my balloon.

Overall, it was a simple, fun, and successful experiment, and I enjoyed being a mini Benjamin Franklin for the class.

Silence Dogood Essay #6

Unable to publish letters in the New- England Courant using his own name, Benjamin Franklin composed a set of fourteen essays under the pseudonym Silence Dogood that were accepted and published in the newspaper. The sixth essay written by Franklin as Mrs. Dogood was published in the newspaper’s June 4th to the 11th, 1722 issue.

In the sixth essay, Franklin starts his writing by expressing his dislike for a certain vice, pride. He says that pride is “a Vice the most hateful to God and Man”. Franklin believes that all people have a yearning to be considered someone who has pride, being superior over all others without it. It is implied that Franklin finds pride to be the folly of every man and woman. Every man and woman desire to have pride, yet it almost always leads to “destruction”. Franklin talks about those who strive to have pride but says, “until one Misfortune comes upon the Neck of the other, and every Step they take is a step backwards”, furthering that pride is a foolish thing to try to obtain as it will only hinder progression. Despite wanting it, pride is a characteristic that no one wants to see in others around them. Even those who have pride have a sense of disdain for others with it. Franklin, writing as his female alias, turns to a more specific subject of pride being the Pride of Apparel, as he has begun to notice more of this, especially among the women of the community. He focuses on women’s fashion, mainly their “monstrous topsy-turvy” Hoop-Petticoats. It is clear that Franklin is disgusted by these gaudy and over-sized pieces of apparel so popular among the women. He finds that the Hoop-Petticoats take up too much space in the rooms for the little to no contribution the women are providing to conversation or business by men. Franklin writes, “I would at least desire them to lessen the Circumference of their Hoops.” Throughout this essay, Franklin repeatedly expresses his dislike, for Hoop-Petticoats, believing in his opinion that they are an “Indication of Immodesty” with their huge size coupled with the women’s lack of contribution. Franklin, again, writing as a woman, does not believe this letter will persuade other women to stop wearing the Hoop-Petticoats, but suggests that they consider making them smaller in size, so as to not take up the most space in a room, and to possibly be made suitable for places such as the Church or kitchen.

The Statue of Benjamin Franklin


Not far from both the location of the birth place of Benjamin Franklin on Milk Street and the obelisk marking the burying place of his parents is a statue of Benjamin Franklin in front of Boston’s Old City Hall. Surrounding the statue are four pictures depicting four major parts of Benjamin Franklin’s life and some of his most important accomplishments. The front picture shows Franklin during his apprenticeship to his brother in the printing shop. The picture in the back depicts Franklin and one of his well-known scientific experiments where he discovered the connection between electricity and lightning. The two sides of the statue focus on Franklin’s political life as one represents his involvement in the committee responsible for drafting the Declaration of Independence, while the other shows his involvement with the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Independence.