Ben Franklin

Map of Nova Scotia made in 1755 by provincial chief surveyor Charles Morris

Unraveling the Colonialist Myths of Nova Scotia

Planners saw the region as a blank space ripe for transformation: the perfect canvas for imperial fantasies

Parliament at sunset

Cool Finds

Secret 17th-Century Passageway Discovered in British House of Commons

Parliament has posted photos of its members and collaborators delighting in the discovery

Cool Finds

Cache of Benjamin Franklin's Original Manuscripts—Doodles and All—Gets Digitized

The Library of Congress recently released approximately 8,000 letters, drafts and documents from the founding father

Lucy gets tossed in with the other accused witches in Salem.

'Timeless' Recapped

Welcome to Salem, Witches: "Timeless" Season 2, Episode 4, Recapped

Rescuing a very important American figure takes just a little tweaking of the historical record

What the Founding Fathers' Money Problems Can Teach Us About Bitcoin

The challenges faced by the likes of Ben Franklin have a number of parallels to today’s cryptocurrency boom

In a letter of 1770, Benjamin Franklin described tofu ("tau-fu") to his friend John Bartram as a sort of cheese made from "Chinese Garavances"—what we would call soybeans.

Ben Franklin May Be Responsible for Bringing Tofu to America

How a letter of 1770 may have ushered the Chinese staple into the New World

Eighmey's colonial-style corn cakes (top), forcemeat balls (lower right) and pickled French beans (lower left).

The Ben Franklin-Inspired Super Bowl Recipes You Never Knew You Needed

We don't know who Ben Franklin would root for, but we do know what he'd eat on Super Bowl Sunday

Brr.

The Father of Modern Chemistry Proved Respiration Occurred by Freezing a Guinea Pig

Where he got the guinea pig from remains a mystery

A painting of Franklin’s return to Philadelphia from Europe in 1785 shows him flanked by his son-in-law (in red), his daughter and Benjamin Bache (in blue), the grandson he’d taken to France as a sort of surrogate son.

Secrets of American History

What Led Benjamin Franklin to Live Estranged From His Wife for Nearly Two Decades?

A stunning new theory suggests that a debate over the failed treatment of their son's smallpox was the culprit

Franklin’s lifelong quest was spreading scientific knowledge to regular people.

Benjamin Franklin Mocked Eclipse Astrology to Elevate Science

The founding father used his almanacs to promote a scientific understanding of celestial events—often with withering humor

Candles were an important source of after-dark light in the early United States, so it makes sense that one of the first patents would be related to improving them.

The Innovative Spirit fy17

What the First Three Patents Say About Early America

Gunpowder, fertilizer, soap, candles and flour were all important to Americans

The dead letter office circa 1922. The contents of unresolvable dead letters and packages are periodically sold off by the USPS.

A Brief History of American Dead Letter Offices

The United States postal system was established on this day in 1775, and mail started going "dead" very soon after

One of 50 rooms in the Colonial Revival mansion in Rochester, New York, where George Eastman lived for 27 years.

Visit the Homes of America's Greatest Inventors

Within these walls, our nation's most brilliant tinkerers once ate, slept and imagined

Benjamin Franklin's portrait on the 2009 design of the hundred dollar bill.

Benjamin Franklin Was a Middle-Aged Widow Named Silence Dogood (And a Few Other Women)

The founding father wrote letters in the voice of female pseudonyms throughout his life

Portrait of Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin Was One-Fifth Revolutionary, Four-Fifths London Intellectual

The enterprising Philadelphian was late to adopt the revolutionary cause, but infused America with English ideals

David Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group and Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway preview the “Giving in America" display at the National Museum of American History.

The Day a Bunch of Billionaires Stopped by the Smithsonian

A new effort to study the history of philanthropy is announced and a number of significant charitable contributions are recognized

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Benjamin Franklin Worked Here

Step into the London house where the inventor, scientist and founding father lived and worked

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From our readers

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Dear Sir, Ben Franklin Would Like to Add You to His Network

Historian Caroline Winterer’s analysis of Franklin’s letters applies big data to big history

Ben Franklin was made a military commander during the French and Indian War because of his experience in the Pennsylvania Assembly.

When Ben Franklin Met the Battlefield

Most famous today as a founding father, inventor and diplomat, Franklin also commanded troops during the French and Indian War

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