October 3, 1849 (Wednesday)

Cloudy all day – no, this morning it was clear but soon became cloudy.  Went to the Franklin Institute this evening and became a member.

The Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the Promotion of the Mechanical Arts was established in February 1824 by Samuel V. Merrick and William H. Keating. The original mission was to advance science, technology, and the usefulness of inventions in the spirit of Benjamin Franklin.  The Institute established departments of chemistry, natural philosophy, and mechanics, a school for mechanical drawing, and even, for a short-time, a high school.  The committee on inventions, which helped nascent inventors, was eventually replaced by a committee on science and the arts.  The Institute recruited members.  Anyone interested in the development of inventions and technology for the betterment of society was invited to join.

In 1849, the Franklin Institute was still located at its first permanent home on South Seventh Street between Market and Chestnut. The Institute, which thrives today as one of the country’s great science and technology museums, moved to its current location at 222 North Twentieth Street in 1934.

Sources:

“Mission and History.” Franklin Institute http://www2.fi.edu/shared/history.php. Accessed on October 2, 2011.

Scharf, Thomas J and Thompson Westcott. History of Philadelpia, 1609–1884. Philadelphia: L. H. Everts, 1884.

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