Children’s Summer Fair 2022

This year, Benjamin Franklin House is collaborating with the William Morris Society and Fulham Palace for an exciting Children’s Summer Fair to end the Summer Holidays!

Join us on Saturday 27th August for an exiting day of family friendly activities.

Get stuck in with the range of activities on offer:

  • The William Morris Society will be getting inspired by our latest exhibition on May Morris by recreating her Orange Tree in 3D form and creating beautiful tissue paper flowers.
  • Benjamin Franklin House will be exploring letters from the past with the chance to write your own 18th century letters using quills, ink and parchment!
  • Fulham Palace will be bringing along some mystery objects from the past. Get curious and guess what they are, who used them, and when and where you think they come from. Complete with a chance to get into costume!

The event will be taking place at The William Morris Society, 26 Upper Mall, London, W6 9TA and is FREE! Although we do request that you book tickets to secure a place as there are limited slots available. You can book your tickets here.

Virtual Talk: Benjamin Franklin and Popular Culture

Thursday 1st September 2022 – 5pm BST/12pm ET

Join our Front of House and Marketing Supervisor, Jessica Eykel, as she explores why and how Franklin has endured within the popular imagination since his death in 1790.

She’ll also attempt to answer that one question on everyone’s mind … ‘where on earth is Franklin in Hamilton?!’

 

Family Event: Portrait Perfect

Strike a pose! Discover the secrets of portraiture and explore the hidden messages behind some of the most famous paintings in the world! In this session we will look at some of the most famous portraits of Benjamin Franklin to uncover the stories they tell us about his fascinating life.

About this event

Explore the home of one of the most famous figure from American history, Benjamin Franklin, who lived in London for almost 16 years! Inside you will get a feel for 18th century London and find the perfect backdrop for your very own portrait!

Examine the interesting details hidden throughout some of the most famous paintings in the world as well as those featuring Benjamin Franklin himself!

Create a fantastic Georgian portrait of yourself and fill it with your very own hidden meanings and messages!

This is an event for KS2-3 school children and our recommended age is 7-13. Accompanying adults welcome. There are two opportunities to join us for this event; come along on either 30th or 31st August for our fourth and final week of Summer Break @ Ben’s House!

Book Tickets

Family Event: Bones in the Basement!

Uncover the truth behind the bones that were found buried in the basement of Benjamin Franklin House and learn all about Georgian medicine!

About this event

Explore the home of one of the most famous figure from American history, Benjamin Franklin, who lived in London for almost 16 years! Inside you will get a feel for 18th century London as well as the secret location of an undercover anatomy school!

Unearth the secrets of 36 Craven Street. Why are there bones in the basement? How did they get there? Who were they? We will explore the history of the undercover anatomy school that operated in the house whilst Franklin remained in residence!

Create your very own model of a human skeleton as we learn all about the anatomy and explore medicine in the 18th century.

This is an event for KS2-3 school children and our recommended age is 7-13. Accompanying adults welcome. There are two opportunities to join us for this event; come along on either 23rd or 24th August for our third week of Summer Break @ Ben’s!

Book Tickets

Family Event: Letters From the Past

Quills at the ready! Join us as we learn about Benjamin Franklin’s literary success as a famous writer and printer in the 18th century. Join our letter writing workshop and experience writing with quills, ink and parchment!

About this event

Explore the home of one of the most famous figure from American history, Benjamin Franklin, who lived in London for almost 16 years! Inside you will get a feel for 18th century London as well as the rooms where Franklin wrote some of his most famous letters.

Learn all about Benjamin Franklin’s life as a successful printer, author and the first US Postmaster General! You will even get a chance to see one of Benjamin Franklin’s handwritten letters up close!

Create your very own letter from the 18th century as we roll up our sleeves for some good old fashioned tea staining! Write a letter using your freshly made parchment using our quills and ink pots!

This is an event for KS2 school children and our recommended age is 7-11. Accompanying adults welcome. There are two opportunities to join us for this event; come along on either 9th or 10th August for our second week of Summer Break @ Ben’s!

9th & 10th August 2022, 10:30am-12:30pm

Book Tickets

Family Event: Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

Discover the true nature of lightning at Benjamin Franklin House as we recreate one of the world’s most famous science experiments!

About this event

Explore the home of one of the most famous figure from American history, Benjamin Franklin, who lived in London for almost 16 years! Inside you will get a feel for 18th century London as well as the rooms where Franklin conducted much of his scientific research.

Watch an electrifying demonstration from our Education Manager who will recreate Franklin’s famous kite experiment. Our Tesla Coil will send 250,000 volts zapping through the room, you wont want to miss it!

Create your very own kite and put on your lab coat as we unpick the science behind Franklin’s experiments with lightning and electricity.

This is an event for KS2 school children and our recommended age is 7-11. Accompanying adults welcome. There are two opportunities to join us for this event; come along on either 2nd or 3rd August for our first week of Summer Break @ Ben’s!

2nd & 3rd August 2022, 10:30am-12:30pm

Book Tickets

Summer Walking Tours: Benjamin Franklin’s 18th Century London

Discover the sights, sounds and smells of Benjamin Franklin’s 18th Century London in our brand-new summer walking tour!

Starting at our doorstep, our expert guide will lead you around our local area to retrace the steps Franklin would have taken whilst living and working here just prior to the American Revolution.

From famous thoroughfares to hidden streets, you’ll uncover a layer of London history and learn of its transformation over the last 200 years.

Thursday 21 July August 2022, 3pm. 

Thursday 25 August 2022, 3pm.

Duration: 1.5 hours (approximate)

Location: Starting from 36 Craven Street.

Tickets: £9.50 per person

BOOK HERE

Ben’s Book Club: ‘Benjamin Franklin’s Last Bet’ By Michael Meyer

Wednesday August 10, 2022, 5pm BST/12pm ET. Register here.

Join us for the August instalment of Ben’s Book Club, a quarterly virtual gathering looking at themes relating to Benjamin Franklin, the 18th century, and American history.

This month we will be talking to Michael Meyer about his latest book ‘Benjamin Franklin’s Last Bet’ which tracks the use and abuse of Benjamin Franklin’s two-thousand-pound parting gift to the working classes of Boston and Philadelphia. Through a critical lens, charting the fund alongside the history of America itself, Michael shows how the money is still in use today and offers us an inspiring blueprint for prosperity in our modern era of growing wealth disparity and social divisions.

Michael Meyer is a Professor or English at University of Pittsburgh and author of many acclaimed nonfiction books that focus on the history of China. He arrived in China in 1995, where he lived and worked for many notable journals such as ‘The New York Times’ ‘Chicago Tribune’ and ‘This American Life’. He has taught Literary Journalism at Hong Kong University and is currently a member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.

Buy your copy of ‘Benjamin Franklin’s Last Bet’ here.

This event is free of charge but please consider making an online donation here to support the work of Benjamin Franklin House.

 

Celebrate 4th July Weekend with us!

Spend 4th July weekend at the home of Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin!

As a founder of the United States, Franklin was the only statesman to have signed all four documents that created a new nation, including The Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of Paris, and The Constitution. The first of these was signed on 4 July 1776, the year after Franklin left this house!

Whether you’re an American expat or a just want to get in on the celebrations with our friends across the pond, we are ready to welcome you all weekend!

Friday 1 – Sunday 3 July 2022, 12-5pm

See Benjamin Franklin House decorated for the occasion and join us for our Architectural Tours on Friday and our Historical Experience show on Saturday and Sunday to learn all about the time Franklin spent in London on the cusp of revolution!

From £7.50 per adult – Purchase tickets via Art Tickets here

Monday 4 July 2022

12-4:15pm

Join us for our flagship offering, the Historical Experience, where the house will be transformed into a stage for a drama that tells the rich story of Franklin in London just prior to the Revolution. A one-off Monday treat!

From £9.50 per adult – purchase tickets here. 

5-7pm. 

We are also opening our doors for two exclusive after-hours tours, complete with American-inspired drinks and snacks!

£15 per person – find out more and purchase tickets.

Ben’s Book Club: ‘Female Genius’ by Mary Sarah Bilder

Wednesday July 13 2022, 5pm BST/12pm ET. Register here.

Join us for the July instalment of Ben’s Book Club, a quarterly virtual gathering looking at themes relating to Benjamin Franklin, the 18th century, and American history.

This month we will be talking to Mary Sarah Bilder about her latest book ‘Female Genius’ which opens a new window on constitutional history, making it clear that this framing moment did not solely belong to white men.

Through the story of one remarkable woman, Eliza Harriot Barons O’Connor, Mary investigates the shaping of the Constitution alongside the rise of the ‘female genius’ and offers an inspirational transatlantic history of women who believed in education as a political right.

Professor Mary Sarah Bilder teaches in the areas of property, trusts and estates, and American legal and constitutional history at Boston College Law School. Her 2016 book Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention, earned the Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy, and was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize. Her 2004 The Transatlantic Constitution: Colonial Legal Culture and the Empire won the American Historical Association’s Littleton-Griswold Award.

Buy your copy of ‘Female Genius’ here.

This event is free of charge but please consider making an online donation here to support the work of Benjamin Franklin House.