There are many places in Philadelphia to learn about what Benjamin Franklin did and discovered. At the recently revitalized and re-opened Benjamin Franklin Museum, you can learn about Ben Franklin, the man. He was - among other things - a scientist, a printer, a politician and an inventor.
Located in Independence National Historical Park, next to the spot where Franklin actually lived, this museum is the only one of its kind dedicated exclusively to him.
Once inside the 9500-square-foot space, visitors are able to experience the true personality of the Founding Father as they check out artifacts, listen to snippets about him, participate in interactive displays dedicated to his inventions and theories and view computer animations.
Children learn about Benjamin Franklin through interactive displays at the museum — Photo courtesy of J. Fusco / Visit Philadelphia
All of these things help show the varied interests and skills the man had, yet offer insight into who he was as a person as well. He was a curious man, he was convincing, he was likeable and he was motivated to learn and to create and achieve. The aim of the museum is to be able to show this to people.
Much more than just a collection of boring facts, this museum is hands-on and encourages interaction. It's meant to spark interest in visitors; it's downright entertaining and fun!
Since Franklin loved to read, one room of the museum is designed to look like his library. In here, visitors can view a projection-style movie featuring parts of his autobiography. One can get a sense of how Ben Franklin thought and worked and created after touring the site.
The addition of the approximately 45 historical artifacts brings a truly concrete and personal touch to the stories told and images portrayed and helps paint a more three-dimensional picture of this amazing man of history.
Exploring the Ben Franklin Museum offers a new look at the man so important in United States history — Photo courtesy of Independence National Historical Park
Benjamin Franklin was a problem-solver. If and when he experienced a problem, he created or invented or discovered something with which to address (and ideally fix) the issue.
He invented bifocals. Why? Because he couldn't see clearly. His work with lightning and electricity allowed him to invent the lightning rod. He also created the Franklin stove, designed for heating the chilly buildings of his time in a more efficient and safe way.
The Benjamin Franklin Museum is designed for all ages and promises to make visitors feel as if they have had some interaction with the famous Philadelphian, and not as if they have been lectured or taught about his achievements.
The building is easy to get to in the historical park, and it is also easy to move through it by following images of Skuggs, a gray squirrel much like the ones Franklin admired when he was alive.
When finished exploring the building, it may be hard to believe Franklin did all he did and still was able to retire at the very young age of 42. Get to know Benjamin Franklin and see how this man who was alive more than 300 years ago can still be so likable and relevant today.