In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World Podcast, David Schmidt, a senior producer at Florentine Films and a senior producer on Ken Burns’ Benjamin Franklin, joins Liz to investigate documentary filmmaking and the life of Benjamin Franklin. [Read more…] about Ken Burns’ Benjamin Franklin Documentary with Producer David Schmidt
William Shirley was the Royal Governor of Massachusetts, appointed by the King of England. Shirley had been a British official in England serving on negotiating committees with French officials determining boundaries. This had led Shirley to a thorough dislike of the French.
He was very aggressive and had been a stalwart advocate of invading Canada and driving the French out of North America. Shirley had written a strong criticism of the New York Congress for its resistance to an invasion of Canada in 1748. He was upset when New Jersey and Rhode Island refused to cooperate in the invasion because they were not threatened. [Read more…] about The Albany Congress of 1754: Native People, Colonists & the Monarchy
Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston on January 17, 1706, to Abiah Folger and Josiah Franklin. Although Franklin began his life as the youngest son of a youngest son, he traveled through many parts of what is now the northeastern United States and the Province of Quebec and lived in four different cities in three different countries: Boston, Philadelphia, London, and Passy, France. [Read more…] about Ben Franklin’s Life In London
Weightism is a bias or discrimination against people who are overweight. It is based on a set of stereotypes about the abilities of overweight individuals and includes prejudices that they are self-indulgent, socially inept, and mentally slow. Obesity was judged to be incompatible with intelligence and acuity.
The weight stigma is a relatively modern one. Fat shaming started in the 1950s. In March 1954, Life magazine featured an article entitled “The Plague of Overweight” in which obesity was described as the most serious health problem of the day. Without any further consideration the condition was linked to gluttony. At the time, only around three percent of Americans were considered overweight.
From the Renaissance onward, obesity had suggested wealth and power. It pointed at the means to supply and enjoy the luxury of food. Plumpness equaled prosperity. If one’s body was a temple, then being the size of a cathedral signaled status. Physical proportion was a badge of economic and physical well-being, both in individual and national terms. [Read more…] about The Joy of Eating: Billy Possum, Fat Men Clubs & Obesity History
In 1719, Étienne [Stephen] De Lancey built his house on a site at 54 Pearl Street on the corner of Broad Street which had been given to him by his father-in-law Stephanus van Cortlandt, New York’s Mayor. The small yellow bricks used in its construction were imported from the Dutch Republic.
In 1762, his heirs sold the property to Samuel Fraunces who converted the home into a tavern, first named the Queen’s Head and later known as Fraunces Tavern. [Read more…] about Rise and Fall of Benjamin Franklin’s Glass Armonica
Polygamy is not a practice that often comes to mind when many of us think about early America. But it turns out, that polygamy was a ubiquitous practice among different groups of early Americans living in 17th and 18th-century North America.
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Sarah Pearsall, a University Teaching Officer, Fellow, and Historian at the University of Cambridge, joins us to discuss the surprising history of polygamy in early North America, with details from her book, Polygamy: An Early American History (Yale University Press, 2019). [Read more…] about Polygamy: An Early American History
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, we explore Douglass’ thoughtful question within the context of Early America: What did the Fourth of July mean for African Americans in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries?
Before long it will be three hundred years ago that James Franklin started printing the combative New-England Courant, employing his younger brother Benjamin as an apprentice. It set a precedent for independent newspaper publishing in the English colonies.
Demands for freedom of the press were ignored and the paper was suppressed in 1726 – but once ink starts flowing, autonomous thinking cannot be reversed. [Read more…] about In Praise of Printing And A Favorite Ben Franklin Typeface
Benjamin Franklin serves as a great window on to the early American past because as a man of “variety” he pursued many interests: literature, poetry, science, business, philosophy, philanthropy, and politics.
But one aspect of Franklin’s life has gone largely unstudied: his childhood and early life.
For the American Revolution to be successful, it needed ideas people could embrace and methods for spreading those ideas. It also needed ways for revolutionaries to coordinate across colonial lines. How did revolutionaries develop and spread their ideas? How did they communicate and coordinate plans of actions?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, Joseph Adelman, an Assistant Professor of History at Framingham State University and author of Revolutionary Networks: The Business and Politics of Printing the News, 1763-1789 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), joins us to investigate the roles printers and their networks played in developing and spreading ideas of the American Revolution. [Read more…] about Revolutionary Print Networks: Printing the News, 1763-1789