Writer, Statesman, World-traveler, Publisher, Inventor, Philosopher, Printer, Diplomat, Newspaper editor, Scientist, Satirist, Pamphleteer, Social critic. Of all America's illustrious Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin was the one who most readily wore the mantle of the Renaissance Man. His interests were remarkably eclectic, and his talents extraordinarily diverse. A signer of the Declaration of Independence, a founder of the subscription library system, inventor of bifocal eyeglasses and the lightning rod, and an originator of the city of Philadelphia's first fire department. Franklin might have gone on to a distinguished career in any of the disciplines for which he showed enthusiasm. Today, we remember him as a writer of some of the wittiest and most stimulating essays and articles published during our nation's Colonial era, all informed by his boundless intellectual curiosity and open-minded spirit of inquiry.