The Franklin Institute © Author Adventures

Benjamin Franklin, Statesman and Writer

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was a world-renowned and brilliant inventor, entrepreneur, politician, and writer who has been an American celebrity for nearly 300 years. Fascinated by language, communication, printing, engraving, diplomacy, and with impressive business acumen, his picture is printed on the front of the $100 bill of US currency. We recommend reading about his life and work at

His own autobiography, published near the end of his life, provides a window into his childhood, when he began apprenticing at his brother’s print shop, and continues through the many ventures and social relationships of his adult years. Readers will discover his worldview in his own words, not all of which would be generally acceptable in today’s world but were typical of several “Founding Fathers” of the US. He remains best-known, however, for his professional achievements and contributions toward launching an independent nation.

Read The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, available as a free ebook on to learn about the “Father of the American Public Library” and America’s first Postmaster General.

The Franklin Institute © Author Adventures

The Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute ( is a wacky and playfully interactive museum in the heart of Philadelphia at the 20th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway intersection.

Popular stops there include:

1. The automaton (“Amazing Machine”)*
2. Walking inside a giant replica of a heart,
3. Sideways rock climbing,
4. Faux surfing,
5. Touching the key,
6. The light show surrounding the Franklin statue, and
7. The whiz-bang gift shop

(* The automaton has a connection to the 2012 movie, Hugo. Read My Time with Hugo and the Automaton at and the acknowledgements in the back of Brian Selznick’s book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, to find out the connection.)

In 2023, the sit-com television series Abbott Elementary aired a season finale episode of its second series that was filmed on-site at the Franklin Institute.

This is the second stop on our Pennsylvania Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart