1/11/2006

Ben Franklin at 300

Well done is better than well said. Ben Franklin

Franklin Forum on Innovation: Inside the Art and Craft of Innovation at Knowledge Wharton

Ben Franklin at the Rosenbach
Mr. Benjamin Franklin
Pennsylvania History

John F. Kennedy said during his brief 1000 days, when presenting a dinner group at the White House of the greatest intellectuals in the nation, I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thimas Jefferson dined alone. He could have as easily said Benjamin Franklin, who was born in 1706 and would be 300 years old this year...let the party begin.

There are number of ways to get to know the practical genius of Ben Franklin tied to this 300th anniversary celebration. Here are a few to consider.

The Pew Charitable Trusts have given $4 million...that's right...to get the party going. Their exhibit, Benjamin Franklin - In Search of a Better World, will appear in Philadelphia, St. Louis, Houston, Denver, Atlanta and Paris. In Philly, see it at the National Constitution Center. And don't forget to visit Franklin's legacy at The Franklin Institute.

[Information in the above parchment used with Permission of The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary.]

A quick way to get an idea of the genius of Ben Franklin is to visit Franklin Court and Underground Museum between 4th and 3rd and Market and Chestnut Streets two blocks away from Independence Hall toward the Delaware River in Philadelphia's historic district. It shows a frame of where his house once stood and exhibits of his post office, printing press and in the underground museum, you can view a wonderful timeline of his inventions...the indoor toilet, bifocals, iron furnace stove, divers flippers, broadside printing press, flexible urinary catheter, lightning rod, the fire fighting company, fire inurance, odometer...the list is almost endless.

The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT is hosting an exhibit called Ben Franklin's Curious Mind. It explores Franklin's prodigious life with hands-on interactive displays in three areas: Power of the Press, Engineering Solutions, and For the Greater Good.

While there, visit the Seaside Center, a beachside museum about the ecology of Long Island Sound.

Other websites worth looking at for Ben Franklin events include:
  • Independence Visitor Center - A huge visitor's center next to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall with "information, history and adventure"
  • GoPhila What to do, where to stay and eat in the city and surrounding area
  • The Franklin Institute - Ben's birthday events at The Franklin Institute.
  • The Electric Ben Franklin - A storehouse of Franklin information, including a links page with everything from Ben's verse to his ideas of natural rights and federalism from his dealings with and printing treaties that had been negotiated with the Iroquois

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