Franklin was a statesman and diplomat for the newly formed United
States, as well as a prolific author and inventor. Franklin helped
draft, and then signed, the Declaration of Independence in 1776,
and he was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787.
As a civic leader, he initiated a number of new programs in Philadelphia,
including a fire company, fire insurance, a library, and a university.
map of the Gulf Stream appears in the book by Benjamin Franklin
and dates from 1769. The Gulf Stream is depicted as the dark
gray swath that runs along the east coast of what is now
the United States.
The amount of water carried in the Gulf Stream is equal
to almost 100 million cubic meters per second, which is nearly 100
times the combined flow of all the rivers on Earth! The speed of
the Gulf Stream can be as high as 5 knots. Now you can see why ships
heading north and eastward across the North Atlantic tried to stay
in the current. It would nearly double their speed, so they could
complete their voyages more quickly.