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Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent


The original home of the Franklin Institute.

This was the original home of the world-famous Franklin Institute. The Franklin Institute was founded in this location by Samuel Merick, interested in promoting interaction between inventors and scientists, in the tradition of Benjamin Franklin. At this location were innovations in the weather bureau, standardization of machine parts, and promotion of the incandescent light bulb. The first architectural courses in America were given here, with teachers such as Thomas U. Walter and William Strickland. In 1933, the Franklin Institute vacated the building and it was almost demolished. In 1938, A. Atwater Kent, a pioneering radio manufacturer, established this museum of the history of the city.

bullet This was the site of the first weather bureau.
bullet Here, the first architectural classes in America were taught.
bullet This building was based on the design of the Greek Monument of Thrasyllus.
bullet Location: 15 South 7th St. (Map)
bullet Built: 1825
bullet Architect: John Haviland
bullet Tourism information: Phase 1 opening, after a long renovation, on February 15, 2012. 215-685-4830
bullet Tourism information: Wed-Sat 1-5pm; FREE
bullet Official website: www.philadelphiahistory.org
survey for ushistory.org