Bumping Into Benjamin Franklin on The West Wing

I am slowly binge-watching episodes of West Wing and notice in Season 6, Episode 20, “In God We Trust” that Franklin shows up in the decorations of people in both parties. It’s a nice compliment that the set designers imagine both these classy characters would want Franklin’s image nearby. The Senate office of Republican Senator …

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World’s Fair of Money

An attractive lecture series coming up in Philadelphia on August 15th, 2018: Sundman Luncheon To highlight the Founding Father’s role in shaping U.S. money, the 2018 theme for the Sundman Lecture Series is “Fugio to Franklins: The Influence of Poor Richard”. Enjoy lunch with this year’s lecturers at a catered, gourmet luncheon from 12:15-1:45 p.m. …

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Epitaph for a Printer – The New Colophon

The Papers cites an article in the New Colophon, A Book-Collectors Miscellany published in 1950: “For an exhaustive discussion of the sources, variations, and sequels of the Epitaph, see L. H. Butterfield, “B. Franklin’s Epitaph,” New Colophon, III (1950), 9–30, where eleven variants are considered. ” This New Colophon article is beautifully available online from …

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Three-Wheeled Clock

An auction notice caught my eye, about a clock designed by Dr Franklin. Papers online has this: James Ferguson: Account of Franklin’s Three-Wheel Clock Printed in James Ferguson, Select Mechanical Exercises: Shewing how to construct different Clocks, Orreries, and Sun-Dials, on Plain and Easy Principles,…(Second edition, London, 1778), pp. 1-4. A Clock shewing the Hours, …

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Who is John Paradise?

I’ve been  studying the Franklin, Massachusetts library, and reading through the correspondence between Dr. Richard Price and Benjamin Franklin in the 1780s. Their discussion ranges wonderfully — through Georgiana Shipley’s woes, the miracle of compound interest, the Finances of France, nasty reports of chaos in America (discounted by Franklin),  great confusion in England (reported by …

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