Ben and Me

Synopsis: Amos, a poor church mouse, sets out to find work, since his family of 26 is starving. He's rejected by several places and takes refuge in the run-down print shop of Ben Franklin. Quickly, he gives Ben the ideas for the Franklin stove, bifocal lenses, and the newspaper the Pennsylvania Gazette as Ben's creditors are threatening to shut him down in 24 hours. The paper is an instant hit and Ben prospers. With Amos hidden in his hat prompting him, Ben seems much brighter than he is. However, when Amos is attached to Ben's kite and gets hit by lighting, he leaves. Later, in the summer of 1776, Ben is desperate and begs Amos to return. He agrees but only if Ben will sign a contract. The next day, as they are beginning their talks, Thomas Jefferson drops by for help with the wording the opening of the Declaration of Independence, and as Ben reads the opening words of the contract, Jefferson says, "That's it!"
21 min

Benjamin Franklin was one of the most

extraordinary men of the 18th century.

Philosopher, inventor and patriot,

he rose from obscurity

to become one of the greatest figures

in American history.

In our struggle for freedom, much credit

must be given to this illustrious...

Mouse. For it was Amos

who was really responsible

for the great deeds

attributed to Benjamin Franklin.

And here's the proof

in his own words.

I was born and raised

in Philadelphia,

in the old church

on Second Street.

Our home was in the vestry,

behind the paneling.

There were 26 children in the family,

and with that many mouths to feed,

we were naturally quite poor.

In fact, as poor as church mice.

And since I was the oldest,

I determined to set out into the world

and make my own way.

If I was successful,

I could help the others.

But, in any case,

there'd be one less mouse to feed.

It was the winter of 1745

and these were desperate times.

Jobs were scarce,

especially for a mouse,

for we were a downtrodden race.

Good morning, madam.

Could you use a handy mouse?


By nightfall

I was becoming desperate.

If I didn't find shelter soon,

I'd be done for.

My last hope was an old

run-down shop near the edge of town.

A sign over the door read:

"Benjamin Franklin,

printer and bookbinder. "

Perhaps I could find shelter here,

just for the night.

Upon entering a strange place, I always

took one good sniff as a precaution.

Hmm. Printers' ink.

Fresh paper. Old books.

And no cats.

And just about as cold

as it was outside.

The place was full

of strange contraptions,

tangles of wire...

... and a little round-faced man

trying to write by candlelight.

Good day, Mr. Franklin.

Could you use a...


Oh, dear, don't tell me.

My last pair.

Oh, what will I do?

Now I'll never get my paper out.

- I'm tired of his excuses.

- He better open up.

Sufferin' hot coals,

here they come again.

- Settle up. Open up.

- Open up. We know you're there.

- Pay the rent or get out.

- We want our money.

In 24 hours

I'm taking your press.

We're taking everything.

- It's your last chance, Franklin.

- Remember, 24 hours.

You can come out now, Mr. Franklin.

- They've gone.

- Twenty-four hours.

Oh, what's the use?

But you can't give up.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained,

Mr. Franklin.

My name's Ben.

Plain Ben.

Just what would you do, uh,

whatever your name is?

My name's Amos, one of the church mice

from over on Second Street.

The first thing I'd do

is figure a way to heat this place.

- All your heat's going up the chimney.

- What would you propose?

Put the fire in the middle

of the room.


You want to burn the place down?

Make something

out of iron to put it in.

Say, that might be an idea.

Fixing Ben's glasses

was quite a problem.

He'd broken his outdoor pair,

as well as his reading glasses.

Well, there was

only one thing left.

Try to make one pair

out of the two.

Let me see now.

Do I put...?

Perhaps if I...?


There we are.

Amos, Amos.

What will I do with the smoke?

Use a pipe. Run it

over to the chimney.

I must admit,

the stove wasn't much to look at.

- But at least...

- It works, Amos. It works!


Say, I wonder if we couldn't

make these things and sell 'em.

Call it the Franklin stove.

- Maybe someday...

- Yeah, maybe someday.

But right now, Ben,

would you mind trying these?

- We have work to do.

- Oh, mmm.

Well, well, well.

- Will they do?

- Will they!

Why, Amos, this is a great idea.

Two-way glasses.

By George.


Say, Ben, this your paper?

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    "Ben and Me" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 19 Apr. 2021. <>.

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