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past Events 2009

 


Children's Christmas Party
Saturday 5 December 2009, 11am
Holiday learning and fun, Franklin style.


Franklin and Climate Change
Thursday 3 December 2009, 6:30pm
At the start of the climate talks in Copenhagen in December, Lady Joan Reid explored how Franklin's 18th century thinking touched on climate change.


Thanksgiving at Benjamin Franklin House
Wednesday 25 November 2009, 6pm
The House provided a special showing of the Historical Experience with reception for local and visiting university students.

"A Caution to the Unwary:" Quacks in Eigtheenth Century London
Monday 16 November 2009, 1pm
Sarah Chaney uncovered the helpful and rueful cures of eighteenth century medicine. Quacks and mountebanks were frequently flamboyant yet mysterious figures in 18th century medicine, advertising their "universal and infallible" remedies on posters and handbills across Franklin's London. Although believed by medicine's elite to be charlatans, preying on the unsuspecting poor, many quack remedies could be far less unpleasant than the violent emetics and purges prescribed by "regular" doctors. This illustrated talk uncovered some of the colourful characters of old London, including Bernard de Mandeville, the only surviving contemporary description of whom is by Franklin himself.


The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession, Tuesday 22 September 7.00pm

brother gardenersIn this beautifully illustrated talk, Andrea Wulf told the tale of a small group of 18th century naturalists that made England a nation of gardeners. It’s the story of a garden revolution that began when Benjamin Franklin’s good friend, the American farmer John Bartram sent hundreds of boxes filled with seeds that would transform the English landscape forever. Andrea explored the botanical passions, obsessions, friendships and squabbles that knitted together the lives of six men that changed the world of gardening and botany. The Brother Gardeners was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2008. More information can be found at www.andreawulf.com.


Herbs, Horticulture and Health: Franklin’s Botanical Pursuits
Monday 14 September, 6:30pm
House Franklin Scholar Lady Joan Reid made the case that, although Franklin wasn’t a keen gardener, he advanced botany on both sides of the Atlantic, introducing, for example, rhubarb to the colonies and certain apples to Britain.

Benjamin Franklin House Annual Symposium in Association with the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library
Wednesday, 9 September 2009, 6.30pm
This year we collaborated with Kew Gardens, celebrating their 250th Anniversary. Franklin and Joseph Banks, Kew’s Founder, were close friends; Paul Smith, Director of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank revealed what’s become of their mutual botanical passion.

Find out more about Kew's 250th anniversary events here.


An Audience With Polly Hewson
Every Tuesday in August at 11am and 2pm
What was life like in Georgian England? Visitors met Mrs Polly Hewson, the daughter of Franklin’s landlady, who revealed everyday life and the grander events in Franklin’s London household. ollow also in Franklin’s footsteps, re-creating one of his most famous experiments.


Monday Lunchtime Lecture 1pm
Law and Disorder: Crime and Punishment in Georgian London explores the history and cultural significance of Newgate Prison and Bedlam Asylum. By looking at the development of these centres of punishment, we can get an understanding of the social life of 18th century London and witness the birth of the modern day legal system.


The Inventive Series
Benjamin Franklin House is not your average museum.  Inspired by Benjamin Franklin's innovation and love of laughter and music, we are pleased to introduce our new Inventive Series:


Comedy Night July 22, 6.30 for 7pm start.
Robin ince and Nik Coppin test their Franklinesque wit in the unusual settings of Franklin's Parlour.

Independence Day Celebration at Benjamin Franklin HouseFranklin's home was filled with Independence Day revelers as part of our annual 4th of July celebrations!

cake


Rivers Baghdad Exhibition at Benjamin Franklin House
22 June 2009

9am - 9pm

rivers baghdadrivers bagdad

Rivers Baghdad 2009
A public artwork from the city of Baghdad with global reach made possible through technology and the human impulse to connect.

Rivers Baghdad is a public artwork on the universal theme of water, projected live from the city of Baghdad and globally streamed to private and public screens. 

On 22 June 2009 the team will host a full day exhibition, introducing and demonstrating the creative and technological processes of Rivers Baghdad. The project is curated by Meredith Gunderson, with live performance and installation by artist Theresa Caruana and technical infrastructure provided by Mixed Reality Lab.

The exhibition will include:
 

Baghdad, 2009 – An artwork which is a vast and virtual interactive map of Baghdad annotated by
(on view) the artist Theresa Caruana. Visitors can navigate an enhanced Google Earth map of the city of
Baghdad using new mobile phone technology developed in collaboration with the Mixed Reality
Lab, the UK’s leading computer science research unit.

Source Material, Rivers Baghdad, 2009 - Visitors may explore the artist’s creative process behind
RIVERS BAGHDAD through a range of material by Theresa Caruana. This body of artwork
includes collectable and unique pieces available for purchase.
(collect@riversbaghdad.com for list of works available)

 ‘Zeinab’ – London, Baghdad, 2009 A performance piece by Theresa Caruana re-enacting a
household chore of scores of women living in Baghdad as described over email by a close contact and
native citizen to Baghdad, ‘Zeinab'

There will also be three programmed presentations and interviews with the artist and the curator throughout the day at 11am, 2pm and 6pm 

This is a public exhibition - to request a downloadable invitation please email rsvp@riversbaghdad.com 

For more information contact info@riversbaghdad.com
or visit the website www.riversbaghdad.com or blog www.riversbaghdad.vox.com
follow us on twitter.com/riversbaghdad 

Franklin’s London: A Guided Walk Through18th Century Westminster

Saturday 6 June, 11am start outside Benjamin Franklin House

A walking tour covering the areas frequented by Benjamin Franklin during his time in London and Westminster.The walk encompasses places frequented by Franklin; among others Whitehall, the Royal Society of Arts and St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street.The walk will finish at Benjamin Franklin House in time for the Historical Experience, the House’s innovative show. Special offer tickets for the show will be available.

Walk available here


Enlightening Friendships: Franklin and his London Milieu
Wednesday 3 June, 6:30pm
A ‘Story of London’ Programme
House Franklin Scholar Lady Joan Reid illuminates the rich exchange between Franklin and his London friends, like chemist Joseph Priestley, doctor John Pringle and publisher Peter Collinson
Red Velvet Curtain Cult, Friday May 22nd 7-10.30pm

An evening of performance, art and unusual happenings.

rvvcc


Dr. George Boudreau Lectures on Benjamin Franklin, the Junto, and the Anglo-American World of Clubs Tuesday 19 May 6pm

Dr Boudreau is Associate Professor of History & Humanities at Penn State Capital College andProject Director for "A Rising People: Benjamin Franklin and the Americans" and will be providing a fascinating Lecture on the importance of clubs and juntos to the 18th century, and specifically to Benjamin Franklin.


Franklin and Polly Hewson: A Second Daughter
Monday 18 May, 1pm
Benjamin Franklin House Founding Director Dr Márcia Balisciano argues that Franklin became a father to the daughter of his Craven Street landlady, Polly Hewson, ensuring an American destiny for her and her descendants.

Late Night at Benjamin Franklin House
Museums & Galleries at Night Friday 15 May
See the innovative Historical Experience, which makes real Franklin’s life and times at Craven Street through live performance and sound and visual projection. Shows start at 6:15 and 7:15pm.
Read more on Culture 24 here.


Saturday 16 May, The Craven Street Bones
Museums & Galleries at Night
Visit Benjamin Franklin House at night and tour the beautiful Georgian building by candlelight before enjoying a glass of wine in the basement to hear the chilling story of bodysnatchers and the Craven Street Anatomy School run by Franklin’s fellow resident William Hewson.


Comedy Night May 20,6.30 for 7pm start.
Marcel Lucont and Kiosk of Champions test their Franklinesque wit in the unusual settings of Franklin's Parlour.
Tickets £8/£5

How Georgian Britain'sWorst Husband Met His Match
Monday 20 April, 1pm
Wendy Moore reveals the story which fascinated London in Franklin’s time:  of Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore. Kept a virtual prisoner, Bowes successfully dissolved her disastrous marriage to a ne’er do well fortune hunter.
£5/£3.50 Friends and Concessions. To book: call 020 7839 2006 or email info@BenjaminFranklinHouse.org


Benjamin Franklin and the Great Wall of China
Thursday 9 April, 5.30pm
The Great Wall of China was built 2,000 years ago by the Qing dynasty, as a sturdy "No Trespassing" sign to neighbouring kingdoms. For centuries, however, the wall remained neglected and forgotten, until Europeans in the 18th-century became infatuated with it. Doctor Dave Wang from St John’s University will talk discuss how Benjamin Franklin became connected with what is now one of the wonders of the world.
£5/£3.50. Book by calling 0207 839 2006 or emailing info@benjaminfranklinhouse.org

Half Term Events at Benjamin Franklin House

Visit the home of 18th century inventor Dr Benjamin Franklin during February half term for a host of exciting activities – have fun, make new friends, and learn about life in Georgian London!

Monday 6th April - Welcome to Benjamin Franklin House: A welcome tour of Benjamin Franklin House, a large 18th century Georgian house located in the heart of London. This will be followed by a fun and challenging scavenger hunt and trivia game.

Tuesday 8th April - Georgian Crafts at Benjamin Franklin House: A fun filled day of Georgian craft making such as whirligigs and button pulls. Come and learn how 18th century children had fun.

Wednesday 15th April- Spectacular Science at Benjamin Franklin House: An exciting day in Benjamin Franklin House’s Student Science Centre. Come learn how to make lightning or how to play a musical instrument said to drive you crazy!

Thursday 16th April - Georgian Toy Making at Benjamin Franklin House: Have you ever wondered what 18th century children played with? Come to Benjamin Franklin House to discover how to make string dolls, rope balls and more!

Friday 17th April - Georgian Sports Day at Benjamin Franklin House

Come play 18th century games as blind man’s bluff, marbles, quoits and more! Activities, aimed at 6-11 year olds, start at 10am and run for 90 minutes. With a different event happening every day, why not come for a whole week of fun? A weekly pass costs £10 per child – alternatively, daily activities are just £3 each (accompanying adults free of charge). Costs cover all equipment and craft materials, and children attending for the week will be presented with a Young Friends of Franklin certificate.


Shaping America: Franklin and the Constitution
Wednesday 25 March, 6:30pm
House Franklin scholar Lady Joan Reid reveals Franklin’s role in crafting the US constitution, one of his most enduring legacies: Franklin’s input remains particularly relevant today.

The House of Invention:
Benjamin Franklin and Scientific Change
National Science & Engineering Week
Tuesday 10 March, 12pm – 5pm
Free open day, suitable for all ages, funded by the Institute of Physics, features great Franklin Science Experiments throughout the day. Learn how Franklin tamed lightning, race canal boats and find out what can make them move faster and understand the principles of sound as you play the strange musical instrument he invented, the glass armonica. Come at any point and see where Franklin made contributions to life in the 21st century.


Fire From The Sky: Benjamin Franklin and the Lightning Rod
Monday 16 March, 1pm
House Operations Manager, Alice Kershaw, uncovers the connection between Franklin’s famous – and dangerous – discovery of lightning as “electrical fluid” and his role as a political firebrand.

Was George Washington Bled To Death?
Monday 23 February, 1pm
In honour of Washington’s birthday, 22 February 1732
House Development Manager Sarah Chaney explores whether Franklin’s friend and fellow Founding Father was bled to death, stirring up an often forgotten controversy. Allegedly drained of five pints of blood during his treatment for pneumonia, was medical negligence responsible for Washington’s untimely demise?


Fun at Benjamin Franklin House
Half Term Holiday, 16 – 20 February, 10 – 11:30am
Weekly Pass £10, Daily £3 (accompanying adults free)
Dr Benjamin Franklin’s London home is a place where 6 – 11 year olds can make new friends and explore why life in Georgian London matters today.

Monday 16 February – Time Team: An exploration of the House through an historical scavenger hunt.
Tuesday 17 February – Wonderful Whirligigs: Make 18th century toys, like whirligigs and button pulls.
Wednesday 18 February – Lightning Strikes!: In the Student Science Centre, rescue churches from destruction by lightning and invent a new musical instrument like Franklin.
Thursday 19 February – Skilful String: Georgian children could have fun with simple balls of string! Find out how.
Friday 20 February – Georgian Games: Play the 18th century games equivalent to the X Box and Wii: Blind Man’s Buff, quoits and marbles.


The Inventive Series
Benjamin Franklin House is not your average museum.  Inspired by Benjamin Franklin's innovation and love of laughter and music, we are pleased to introduce our new Inventive Series:

The Comedy Experiment
Wednesday, 18 February, 2009, 7pm
Tickets £8/ £5 Friends & concessions
Comedians Nik Coppin, Terry Saunders, Mike Manera and Paul Sinha test their Franklin wit.


Gin and Vice in Georgian England: Decadence and Enlightenment

Our Monday Lecture Series kicks off with a session given by Education Manager Rob Taylor on the rise in Mother Gin and her subsequent abuse in the alleys of London in the Age of Enlightenment.

 

Fun at Benjamin Franklin House
Half Term Holiday, 16 – 20 February, 10 – 11:30am
Weekly Pass £10, Daily £3 (accompanying adults free)
Dr Benjamin Franklin’s London home is a place where 6 – 11 year olds can make new friends and explore why life in Georgian London matters today.

Monday 16 February – Time Team: An exploration of the House through an historical scavenger hunt.
Tuesday 17 February – Wonderful Whirligigs: Make 18th century toys, like whirligigs and button pulls.
Wednesday 18 February – Lightning Strikes!: In the Student Science Centre, rescue churches from destruction by lightning and invent a new musical instrument like Franklin.
Thursday 19 February – Skilful String: Georgian children could have fun with simple balls of string! Find out how.
Friday 20 February – Georgian Games: Play the 18th century games equivalent to the X Box and Wii: Blind Man’s Buff, quoits and marbles.

The Inventive Series
Benjamin Franklin House is not your average museum.  Inspired by Benjamin Franklin's innovation and love of laughter and music, we are pleased to introduce our new Inventive Series:

The Comedy Experiment
Wednesday, 18 February, 2009, 7pm
Tickets £8/ £5 Friends & concessions
Comedians Nik Coppin, Terry Saunders, Mike Manera and Paul Sinha test their Franklin wit.

Gin and Vice in Georgian England: Decadence and Enlightenment

Our Monday Lecture Series kicks off with a session given by Education Manager Rob Taylor on the rise in Mother Gin and her subsequent abuse in the alleys of London in the Age of Enlightenment.

£5/£3.50. Book by calling 0207 839 2006 or emailing info@benjaminfranklinhouse.org