Ben Franklin: More than just an electrifying historian

Benjamin Franklin. You know the name. You have seen his statue. But do you really want to know who he was or how big his influence was on our culture? NSU is proud to help you get to know one of America’s most dynamic forefathers through a series of unique events in his honor at the Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center.

“Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World” exhibit is divided into six electrifying sections:

Character Matters: This section is where your journey begins. It’s where you meet a young Franklin in his early years in Boston. You will learn about his schooling, what he did as a child and how he began his training as a printer.

B. Franklin Printer: Here, you’ll learn about how Franklin made his fortune as Philadelphia’s prime printer.

Civic Visions: This section tells the story of Franklin’s impact and his founding of several philanthropic, educational and even civic institutions such as Pennsylvania Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania.

Useful Knowledge: This part of the exhibit shows that Franklin made enough money to retire from his duties in business, and then he embarked on this part of his life to “useful knowledge.” You will learn of scientific instruments used by Franklin and the most famous scientists during that era.

World Stage: This part of the exhibit teaches about when all of Franklin’s worlds — literature, science, politics, diplomacy, and his fascination with the material world — came together at a crucial time in history.

Seeing Franklin: In this final section, you will see Images of Franklin from the 19th and 20th centuries combined with quotations suggesting Franklin’s impact to our culture.

This special exhibit will run through December 2011 in the library’s second floor gallery. Not only will this exhibit have those educational sections, but also entertaining events for Franklin fans of all ages. These events include: The Real Lives of Revolutionary War Soldiers with Continental and British soldiers in costume on Oct. 30; a Colonial Party with Ben Franklin that will have tea treats, parlor games and old-fashioned crafts on Nov. 19; and a Tavern Night with Ben Franklin for adults on Nov. 19, which will have an actor who reenacts the Franklin persona and time period.

So, don’t just know the name, or know that he “invented electricity.” Actually learn who this phenomenal man was and enjoy doing it. This exhibit is free to all and open to the public during the following hours: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. In the words of Benjamin Franklin himself, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

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