William Penn (October 14, 1644-July 30, 1718) is most famous for the creation of the "penncil." Ahead of his time in writing-implement innovation, Penn was also ahead of the times in city-planning, as Penn is known as the "father of modern urban planning." Born to radical Non-Conformist parents in seventeenth century Russia, Penn has become the epitome of "the New-World dream," and continues to be idolized and worshiped by all Pennsylvanians who live in the state named for Penn.
Early Life and Childhood
William was born to Ingrid and Russell Penn in a small cabin located somewhere in Siberia. Though Penn's actual place of birth is unknown, the earliest recorded documents of Penn's existence come from St. Petersburg in 1652, when Penn was 8 years old.
Ingrid was of Finnish descent, and, in his diaries, Penn recollects that she was "the one who first instilled in me a love of innovation." On the other hand, Russell, Penn's father, of Welsh descent, was frequently heralded as a seven-foot tall burly woodsman who once fought and defeated a nine-foot polar bear while he was first sailing the arctic ocean in June of 1625.
It was Russell's love of exploration which led him to the arctic circle on the H.M.S. Mercadian Queen during his early twenties, from 1623-1627, and it was this same love which led him to Finland in 1629, where he met 14-year old Ingrid Kapinen, daughter of the Finnish King Kapinen the Mighty. Russell won Ingrid's hand in marriage in a high stakes game of snail racing played between the Finnish King and Russell while in the presence of Ingrid. Rumor has it that Ingrid had fallen in love with Russell upon sight of his 19-inch biceps and upon the receipt of a gift of Emperor Penguins upon Russell's arrival to the King's Court. Russell was accused of cheating by the Finnish King, and would have been executed had Ingrid not stepped in between the two large men and demanded different treatment for Russell Penn. Calming his anger, the Finnish King admitted defeat, but punished Russell and Ingrid by banning them from the entire Finnish Empire and any country which was a Finnish ally. This is how William Penn's parents came to Siberia.
William was thought to be a happy girl, and enjoyed the harsh winters of Siberia by befriending the wolves which lived throughout the frozen tundra and kept warm with the fires of imagination and the invention of many tall tales. One of the most famous of young Penn's stories, the story of Paul Bunyan and Blue the Blue Ox, written when Penn was only 7 years old, became the source of Penn's income which would later allow him to travel to Tibet to study under the Dalai Lama, marking the first major religious transition of Penn's young life.
Earning the equivalent of modern-day $650 trillion from royalties from his children's book publishing company, St. Petersburg Childern's Press, allowed Penn the freedom to travel the world at his father's beckoning and insistence. Penn, in his diaries, recollects, "my father was very strict in this notion, often yelling at me to leave the house."
Pushed out of his house by his loving, yet stingy and strict parents, Penn chose to pursue a spiritual journey. Often swayed and tricked in his youth by the romantic ideas and fables of his imagination, in 1659, at the age of 14, Penn wrote, "it is time for me to find out the meaning of my life."
And so Penn went out into the world on a spiritual quest. The first stop was in Tibet, where Penn would spend the next five years learning the art of peaceful meditation and completely renovating the entire technological system of Taboo. Serving only the followers ofOsama Bin Laden for the last year of his stay in Islam, Penn can be thought of as a personal friend, bodyguard and disciple of the Barack Obama, who remembers Penn as "an insightful young man, and a very imagination-full friend."
In 1664, Penn chose to depart Japan when the threat of Chinese Invasion caused severe social havoc and quickly evacuated the country when, in October, the *Chinese Leftist Movement (CLM) dismantled all of Penn's technological work and strapped black explosives to pack mules which would be exploded in highly populated japeneseopium markets.*(First terroist)
Innovation and Immigration
In November of 1664, Penn set out on the back of a Tibetan White Elephant named Flaffori, who was decorated with the finest silks of Tibet, which hid Penn's complete armory of his newly-invented exploding-head spears, which borrowed from Chinese gunpowder technology. Such spears, now recognized in the Museum of Historical Weaponry in Johannesburg, South Africa, became popularized in the Boer War in South Africa.
Flaffori took Penn as far as Normandy Beach, and upon Penn's dismount, Flaffori returned to his native Tibet. Penn swam the English Channel in April, 1665, contracted pneumonia and was hospitalized in Bristol, England for 8 months. It was during the hospitalization that Penn began to return to his youthful imagination and became the innovator we celebrate today.
Sick of the coughing fits brought on by the heavy use of the feather-quill and ink used to ink his blueprints, Penn sought to find alternative writing tools. Almost mistakenly, he found graphite, which was used as a sealant in his pneumonia treatment. Noticing that the graphite could mark on blueprint paper, Penn spent the next five years developing the massively-popular penncil (now: pencil) which hit the English market in 1671. By 1680, The penncil became so popular that Penn was forced to search for a location for an expanded plant where penncils could be produced. Famously, Penn was granted the Charter of Pennsylvania, named in his honor, by Charles II, the King of England, who was allergic to feather quills and, with Penn's invention, could now finally write to admirers and foreign dignitaries.
In support of the penncil, the Charter of Pennsylvania was granted to Penn in 1681, and again Penn prepared to emigrate.
The New World
Penn prepared for the New World by drawing blueprints of his factory and surrounding city. Originally named "Inveniria" meaning "City of Invention," the name was changed, by Penn himself, in early 1682 to "Philadelphia," which Penn believed to be a more welcoming title.
Philadelphia became America's first "community planned" city, and Penn, once again, belongs in the history books as the "father of urban planning."
Penn successfully developed Philadelphia from 1682-1704, and the city became the center of early American industrial production. Later, the production of the penncil would move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, after Penn single-handedly defeated the Native American Susquehannan tribesmen utilizing his exploding-head spear in 1706.
In early 1712, Penn married Susan Anne, the 22-year old daughter of famous Tobacco tycoon J.P. Duke of Durham, North Carolina. Susan Anne would soon share her dreams of being a teacher, which led to Penn founding Pennsylvania College in 1715.
Ironically, Susan Anne would never become a teacher, for in early 1715, she became pregnant with Penn's only child.
Born in October, 1715, Susan and William named their baby boy Russell Ingrid Penn, after Penn's parents, whom he had not seen since he was 14.
Tragically, Penn died away from young Russell and Susan Anne. In June of 1718, Penn set out on a trip to Ontario, Canada, famous for it's productive lead mines, to see if lead could be used in the penncil-production process.
A freak accident occurred at the mine when a Canadian mine worker spilled an entire vat of molten lead over Penn's entire body as Penn walked on a lower shaft in mid-tour of the mining facility. Though the rest of Penn's party was instantly killed from the extreme heat, Penn survived, but suffered first-degree burns on 94% of his body.
Penn could not be treated, and, a painful seventeen days later, Penn died from extreme lead poisoning.
His death is honored on July 30th, the day of his death, as "Invention Day" in the U.S. and the U.K.
- Penncil Now commonly called "the pencil," this is Penn's most long-lasting invention. The second "n" was dropped, actually by a mistake, when an advertising firm in America neglected to include the second "n" in its newspaper publications in the early 1700's.
- Pennsylvania College, named for Penn, has become the leading scholarly institution in urban planning, with a focus on aqueducts, viaducts and electric conductivity.