From Our Editors
When Samuel Vaughan Merrick and William H. Keating brought The Franklin Institute to life in 1824, it was to honor the life and achievements of Renaissance man Benjamin Franklin. In the decades since, the Institute has hosted further forward thinkers such as Nikola Tesla, who demonstrated wireless telegraphy in 1893, and helped advance science and technology, hosting the first public demo of an all-electronic TV system in 1934.
- Size: three floors give voice to human ingenuity—past and future—with hundreds of interactive exhibits
- Eye Catcher: the two-story-tall, 5,000-square-foot Giant Heart, which teaches children about cardiovascular health while they crawl through its chambers
- Permanent Mainstay: Fels Planetarium, the second oldest planetarium in the nation, complete with a rooftop observatory and a 60-foot seamless aluminum dome
- Hands-On Experiments: construct an interplanetary rover in the Space Command, complete an electrical circuit with your body, and launch a cannonball in Circus! Science Under the Big Top
- Honor the Man: swing by the 20-foot-tall, 30-ton marble statue of Benjamin Franklin in the rotunda to see what the genius looked like and thank him for your bifocals
- Don't Miss: the Maillardet Automaton, a boy-like drawing machine that inspired the film Hugo