In 1737, a 31 year old gentleman was name the Deputy Postmaster in Philadelphia. That gentleman was Benjamin Franklin. Ben was originally from Boston, but ran to Philadelphia at 17 yrs old to get away from the law since he had quit his printing apprenticeship (with his brother) without permission making himself a fugitive. He eventually became a leading citizen in the colony, starting the first newspaper in Philadelphia, creating the first library, and contributing to the establishment of the University of Pennsylvania. All in all, Benjamin Franklin was a highly successful and talented man.
When he settled in Philadelphia, he settled on Market Street. Eventually he built a bookstore, printing shop, and Post office facing Market Street. Today, in the same location, is the postal museum and his printing shop:
There is a corridor between the buildings that leads to where Benjamin’s house stood at one time:
The city has erected a structure showing where his house was located. Through out the area you can see the remnants of his place.
Unfortunately, the house was torn down and built over. However, you can still see parts of the foundations and walls underground:
They even uncovered his “privy”…aka bathroom!:
Inside the metal house structure, they have the floor plan marked out so you can get an idea of what the house may have looked like at one time:
It was truly surreal to stand where one of our Founding Fathers lived. I was glad to see the city do their best to keep it alive. They had placards throughout the courtyard showing maps and details of Philly from the 1700’s. One of the more interesting ones was a view of Market Street through the years!
I’m sure Ben would have been a bit surprised to see the street as it looks now. Especially if he saw how people managed to move furniture in and out of the buildings! I couldn’t figure out if they were trying to move the mattress into the building or get it out. What do you think?