In his lifetime, Benjamin Franklin lived in a number of places. It seems ironic that the only home that still survives is the one in London, just a few steps from famed Trafalgar Square. Franklin lived here from 1757 to 1775.
Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts, to an American mother, Abiah Folger, and a British father, Josiah Franklin. Considered the father of electricity, through his inventions, writings, and extensive activities as a printer, philosopher, and more, Franklin helped advance the Age of Enlightenment.
As a key founder of the United States, he is the only statesman to have signed all four documents that created a new nation: The Declaration of Independence (1776), the Treaty of Alliance with France (1778), the Treaty of Paris establishing peace with Britain (1783), and The Constitution (1787).
He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 17 April 1790.
While living at 36 Craven Street, London, Ben's main occupation was mediating unrest between Britain and America, but he also served as Deputy Postmaster for the Colonies; pursued his love of science (exploring bifocal spectacles and the energy-saving Franklin stove); explored health (inoculation, air baths and cures for the common cold); music (inventing the delightful glass armonica for which Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven composed) and letters (articles, epitaphs, and his witty Craven Street Gazette), all while forging a hearty social life and close friendships with leading figures of the day.
Franklin left England in 1775, returned to the Colonies, and immediately joined the fight to obtain independence from the country he had just left.
The Benjamin Franklin House, built circa 1730, will open to the public for the first time as a dynamic museum and educational facility next 17 January 2006, just in time for Benjamin Franklin's 300th birthday.
School visitors will be able to explore the Student Science Centre, featuring hands-on experimentation with Franklin's London scientific discoveries. The top floor Scholarship Centre will give researchers access to the papers of Benjamin Franklin.
More information may be found at http://www.benjaminfranklinhouse.org