Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston on January 17, 1706, to Abiah Folger and Josiah Franklin. Although Franklin began his life as the youngest son of a youngest son, he traveled through many parts of what is now the northeastern United States and the Province of Quebec and lived in four different cities in three different countries: Boston, Philadelphia, London, and Passy, France.
In honor of Benjamin Franklin’s 316th birthday, Márcia Balisciano, the Founding Director of the Benjamin Franklin House museum in London, joins us to explore Benjamin Franklin’s life in London using details from the largest artifact Franklin left behind: his rented rooms at 36 Craven Street.
This episode is supported by an American Rescue Plan grant to the Omohundro Institute from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Marcia Baliciano, the Founding Director of the Benjamin Franklin House museum in London, joins us to explore Benjamin Franklin’s life in London. Franklin lived in London between 1757 and 1775. Marcia helps us investigate this period of Franklin’s life using details from the largest artifact Franklin left behind: his rented rooms in the house at 36 Craven Street in London.
During our exploration, Marcia reveals why Benjamin Franklin lived in London between 1757 and 1775. Franklin’s work as a colonial agent, scientist, and postmaster general. And, details about Franklin’s room and life at his home at 36 Craven Street in London.
What You’ll Discover
- What brought Benjamin Franklin to London between 1757 and 1775
- Franklin as scientist and politician
- Why Pennsylvania sent Benjamin Franklin to London in 1757
- Proprietary and royal colonies
- The Penn Family
- Franklin’s ability to conduct diplomacy as a colonial agent
- Why colonies employed colonial agents to represent them in London
- Franklin’s journey to London in 1757
- Franklin’s work and social life in London
- Franklin’s rented London home, 36 Craven Street
- Benjamin Franklin’s servants
- 36 Craven Street as an artifact of Benjamin Franklin’s life
- Franklin’s family and home life while in London
- Franklin’s penchant for entertaining and socializing
- Benjamin Franklin’s reputation
- The Benjamin Franklin House Historical Experience
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Marcia Balisciano
- Benjamin Franklin House London
- Benjamin Franklin House Historical Experience & Architectural Tour
- Walter Isaacson, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
- The National Gallery, London
- The Museum of the Home Stories
- Bloomberg Connects Frank(lin) Views Podcast
- Omohundro Institute
- Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
- OI-NEH Vast Early America Teacher Institute
- Save 40 percent on Christine Walker, Jamaica Ladies, by using promo code 01BFW
Support Ben Franklin's World
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- Episode 001: James N. Green, Library Company of Philadelphia
- Episode 022: Vivian Bruce Conger, Deborah Read Franklin & Sally Franklin Bache
- Episode 149: George Goodwin, Benjamin Franklin in London
- Episode 169: Thomas Kid, The Religious Life of Benjamin Franklin
- Episode 175: Daniel Epstein, The Revolution in Ben Franklin’s House
- Episode 207: Nick Bunker, Young Benjamin Franklin
Time Warp Question
In your opinion, what might have happened if Benjamin Franklin’s residence at 36 Craven Street had been torn down or destroyed? What would we lose in our knowledge about Franklin and the way he lived if we didn’t have this one residence left to tell us about him and his life?
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