Benjamin Franklin House Museum
Benjamin Franklin was one of the most remarkable men of his age; scientist, publisher, writer, inventor, and one of the moving forces behind the establishment of the United States. From 1757 to 1775 Benjamin Franklin lived in this lovely Grade I listed Georgian townhouse close to Trafalgar Square. Today, Benjamin Franklin House is a museum and education centre based in the last surviving Franklin house in the world.
During the 16 years Franklin lived at 36 Craven Street he carried out numerous experiments in the fields of electricity, optics, music, health, and heating. He published a 'newspaper' called the Craven Street Gazette, and lived at the hub of high society London.
The interesting thing about Benjamin Franklin House is that the curators have made an attempt to bring history to life; to make the museum more than a collection of artefacts and really give visitors a sense of what life was like here over 200 years ago.
To do this the museum makes use of modern audio and visual techniques like projecting images into space, and this is blended with a soundtrack of Franklin telling the story of his life in London in his own words. Your 'guide' for a visit to the house is Polly Hewson, daughter of Franklin's landlady. Polly's husband William ran a school of anatomy in the basement of the house.
There are two further sections of Franklin House; the Student Science Centre offers younger visitors a chance to explore the science behind Franklin's work (open to pre-booked groups only), and the top floor Scholarship Centre allows more academic study of Franklin's life, including his letters and other papers.
Benjamin Franklin House Museum opened its doors to visitors on the 300th anniversary of Franklin's birth, in January 2006.
'Polly Hewson' guides visitors around
Benjamin Franklin House,
with the help of Franklin's own words
About Benjamin Franklin House
Address: 36 Craven Street,
England, WC2N 5NF
Attraction Type: Museum
Location: Just around the corner from Charing Cross Station
Website: Benjamin Franklin House
Phone: (0)207 925 1405
Photo Credit: Benjamin Franklin House
Nearest station: Charing Cross - 0 miles (straight line) - Zone: 1
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