A serviceable, but not particularly inspired, biography of that most remarkable citizen, whose many skills and interests, canny ingenuity and bluff, withhold appeal for all ages. Franklin's ""firsts"" hold recurrent interest. Among his lesser known inventions was a musical instrument called the ""armonica"", composed of revolving drinking glasses, and sufficiently in his time for Beethoven and Mozart to write music for it. There was a chimney damper, a ladder chair, a gadget (precursor to today's grocery shelf tongs?) designed for lifting books down from upper shelves. His unfamiliar exploits are given due emphasis along with his contributions to the cause of revolution and the new republic:- his work as deputy postmaster to all British North America; negotiations for peaceful Indian relations; direction of volunteers sent to disperse the blood-thirsty ""Paxton boys""; diplomatic manonuveringe on behalf of the Pennsylvania Assembly in regard to the demands of Penn's sons. Useful supplementary reading in history.