Raising funds for the defense was always a grave problem in the colonies because the assemblies controlled the purse-strings and released them with a grudging hand. He sailed for home in early 1775. He found lodging at the home of John Read, who would become his father-in-law. Biography of Benjamin Franklin, Printer, Inventor, Statesman. In 1748 at the age of 42, with a comparatively small family and the frugality of his nature, Franklin was able to retire from active business and devote himself to philosophical and scientific studies. They would create a national congress of representatives from each colony, who would be led by a "president general" appointed by the king. In 1727 he founded the Junto Society, commonly known as the "Leather Apron Club," a small group of middle-class young men who were engaged in business and who met in a local tavern and debated morality, politics, and philosophy. The French ministers were not at first willing to make a treaty of alliance, but under Franklin's influence they lent money to the struggling colonies. The son soon sold his share, and Benjamin Franklin was left with his own business at the age of 24. All of the societies Franklin had created up to this point were noncontroversial, in so far as they kept with the colonial governmental policies. In 1732, Benjamin Franklin published "Poor Richard's Almanack." After returning to Philadelphia in late 1726, Franklin opened a general store with Thomas Denham and when Denham died in 1727, and Franklin went back to work with the printer Samuel Keimer. During this period in his life, Franklin also kept a shop in which he sold a variety of goods. Franklin found employment at the famous printer's shop owned by Samuel Palmer and helped him produce "The Religion of Nature Delineated" by William Wollaston, which argued that the best way to study religion was through science. Soon, 10,000 men signed up and formed themselves into more than 100 companies. On October 2, 1729 Benjamin Franklin and his partner Hugh Meredith seized the opportunity to purchase the Pennsylvania Gazette from Samuel Keimer. Franklin carried on experiments with the Leyden jar, made an electrical battery, killed a fowl and roasted it upon a spit turned by electricity, sent a current through water to ignite alcohol, ignited gunpowder, and charged glasses of wine so that the drinkers received shocks. It became a humor classic, one of the earliest in the colonies, and years later the most striking of its sayings were collected and published in a book. He made many friends in England, wrote pamphlets and articles, told comical stories and fables where they might do some good, and constantly strove to enlighten the ruling class of England upon conditions and sentiment in the colonies. Among his many inventions was the "Pennsylvania fireplace" in 1749, a wood-burning stove that could be built into fireplaces to maximize heat while minimizing smoke and drafts.