Founding Father of the United States, printer, author, inventor, scientist, many more… It is likely much easier to list the roles and talents, which Benjamin Franklin did not have. For example, he was never President of the United States. Despite being born in Boston, he moved to Philadelphia at the age of 17. He spent the most significant time of his life in “Philly”, where nowadays the Benjamin Franklin Museum is located. Here is a review, when I visited the city for the NHL Stadium Series.
Benjamin Franklin Museum – Location / Admission
The museum is located close to the original Benjamin Franklin home. It is a bit hard to find as the entrance is in a backyard. The key Philadelphia historic attractions are in close proximity. The museum belongs to the National Historic Park of Pennsylvania.
The museum is opened from 9:00 to 17:00hrs. Adult admission is 5 USD. There is also an original Printing Lab, which is free entry. I did not visit this one during my time in Philadelphia. I also visited the Science History Institute, which is very close.
Benjamin Franklin Museum – The Visit
From the entrance area, you take the staircase or elevator to the basement. After some general exhibits, you reach the main exhibition area. The most eye-catching piece is likely a table with the full biography of the polymath. Not interactive as in the Churchill Museum located in the London War Rooms, but nevertheless, I felt quite reminded about my visit there.
The exhibition itself is split into five section. You likely start with Ardent & Dutiful, which gives you information on Franklin’s familiar background and way of thinking. Ambitious & Rebellious is about the young adult Franklin, becoming a printer and earning his first merits. For example, you learned how he increased productivity by changing the nutrition of his colleagues.
The following sections are called Motivated to Improve, Curious and Full of Wonder and Strategic and Persuasive and deal with the following stages of Franklin’s life. The variety of topics covered is massive, just as the protagonist’s talents. You learn about his political influence during the Declaration of Independence years as well as how he invented the lightning rod.
Benjamin Franklin Museum – Services
There is no museum cafe or similar facility. Of course, you can buy Benjamin Franklin items in the adjacent souvenir shop.
Guided by a squirrel (“I am the best friend of Benjamin”), there are also especially marked exhibits and interactive parts for kids. For example, you may do a “print” as Franklin did with your name on it on a screen. Parts of the museum are even barrier-free for the blind.
Benjamin Franklin Museum – My View
I felt that the museum is well presented. It is comparably small, so that you will likely do it in about one hour. Nevertheless, you learn a lot about this amazing person, his influence and his variety of talents. I absolutely liked my stay. However, I felt you could even do a better and more “powerful” museum about this very special man. If you are interested in him, you will definitely have a good time in Philadelphia. Worth visiting!
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