As I strode briskly toward the Independence Visitors Center in the Old City of Philadelphia, the heavens opened.  Unfortunately, God didn’t come down, only sheets of grey rain on a day that had until that time been gloomy but warm.  Despite my chic London Fog rain hat and brightly-green rain jacket as well as hastily-employed umbrella, my jeans were soaked almost to the knees and my socks distinctly damp when I reached the Center, only to find that the half hour movie I’d hoped to see didn’t begin until 11 and I had to be at Reading Terminal Market by 11:30 for lunch.  So I headed for Ben Franklin’s house and museum and I’m glad I did.

Having read his autobiography ages ago (free here as a pdf) and a lot about him, I knew he was a man of many talents.  But the newly-redone museum showcases wonderfully what an eclectic man he was.  Let me share in photos just a small slice of his accomplishments.




This was one of my favorite things. Although Franklin may not have invented the glass harmonica, also known as the glass armonica, as Wikipedia states: “Benjamin Franklin invented a radically new arrangement of the glasses in 1761 after seeing water-filled wine glasses played by Edmund Delaval at Cambridge in England in May of 1761.[7] Franklin, who called his invention the “armonica” after the Greek word for harmony,[citation needed] worked with London glassblower Charles James to build one, and it had its world premiere in early 1762, played by Marianne Davies.” Music was created “by touching the rims of the bowls with water moistened fingers.” Can anyone say “Miss Congeniality” Miss America talent segment??? 🙂





Would the Post Office be losing money if Ben were still running it?


Still a good question to ask.


Turn the crank and light was produced.


Sudoku before Sudoku.


More on Ben in part two, coming up in the near future.

  1. cynthiamc1 says:

    One of my favorite people. Wish I had known about Abigail Twitterfield – would have made the perfect Twitter handle 🙂

  2. smatchley says:

    Don’t envy the downpour, but do envy the trip and destination! (hello, friend!)

    • Hi, Sheila. So nice to see you. I’m glad you missed the rain but at least you got the good part. Part two with Ben will post tomorrow morning. Having a blast.


  3. That’s on my bucket list now, I think Philadelphia i worth a visit. Thanks for a great post!!!

  4. frizztext says:

    P.S.: wonderful old Philadelphia painting!

  5. (The bricks of those old buildings are always rough beauty)
    Franklin is so intriguing. People used to always spout his Poor Richard’s sayings. Not aware of all this other pseudonyms. Thanks for sharing

    • I really liked the pseudonyms, too. What an amazing man he was. I’m glad you enjoyed the trip. Next part tomorrow morning. So much amazing history here.


  6. mpejovic says:

    What a great visit! Thanks for the link to his autobiography, I’ll have to read it.

  7. WHAT an assortment of interests! (I notice listening to Assembly debates didn’t especially interest him, though.) And Janet, I was really startled to see your name at the end of the list of Ben’s pseudonyms – I never realized you borrowed it from him!

  8. says:

    Thanks for making our city look even better !!

    • Have you been to this museum? If not, I highly recommend it. Only $5 and well worth it. I got there sort of accidentally and was really glad I made it there. I want to visit the cemetery where Ben’s buried one of the next visits.