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53: Benjamin Franklin in London

There is one special place in London that has a strong connection with Franklin and that is Benjamin Franklin House which is a museum in a terraced Georgian house on Craven Street and is the world’s only remaining home of Benjamin Franklin.

The house itself dates from c. 1730, and is a grade I listed property. Since opening to the public on 17 January 2006, Franklin’s 300th birthday, the House has welcomed more than 140,000 visitors.

Join Hazel Baker and our guest Dr. Márcia Balisciano, founding Director of Benjamin Franklin House, as they discuss the life of Benjamin Franklin in London.

Benjamin Franklin in London

 

Show Notes:

Hazel Baker: Hello and welcome to London Guided Walks London History podcast. In the coming episodes, we will be sharing our love and passion for London, its people, places and history in an espresso shot with a splash of personality. For those of you who don’t know me, I am Hazel Baker, founder of London Guided Walks, providing guided walks and private tours to Londoners and visitors alike.

 

Hazel Baker: Today we’re going to be talking about Benjamin Franklin and his London life. In 1757, having made his fortune in Philadelphia and established his name as a renowned experimental scientist, Benjamin Franklin crossed the Atlantic and came back to London this time to live life as a gentleman. He settled in a house in Craven street, not too far from Trivago square. And it’s from this address where the famous US statesman lived and conducted into numerous important experiments such as exploring daylight saving time and inventing bifocal lenses.

It’s also from here where he mixed with brilliant minds of the day, including Scottish philosopher, David Hume, an English manufacturer, Matthew Bolton. And he counted physician and philosopher, Erasmus Darwin as a trusted friend. There is one special place in London that has a strong connection with Franklin. And that is Benjamin Franklin House, which is a museum and a Tempest Georgian, hassled Craven street and is the world’s only remaining home of Benjamin Franklin. The house itself dates from about 1730 and is a grade one listed property. Since opening to the public on the 17th of January 2006, Franklin’s 300th birthday, the house has welcomed more than 140,000 visitors. Him first coming to London in 1724 in Episode 30 Little Britain. 

And I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Dr. Márcia Balisciano to join us and tell us more about his London life and the wonderful Benjamin Franklin house. So, thanks for joining me today, Marsia. I’m really excited to talk about this.

 

Dr. Márcia Balisciano

Márcia is founding Director of Benjamin Franklin House, the world’s only remaining home of Benjamin Franklin, today a dynamic museum and educational facility focused on bringing history and innovation to life. She leads a dedicated team in advancing the House’s distinct offerings, including the ‘museum as theatre’ Historical Experience, Student Science Centre and Robert H. Smith Scholarship Centre. Since opening to the public for the first on Franklin’s 300th birthday, the House has welcomed more than 140,000 visitors. She is also Global Head of Corporate Responsibility at RELX, a FTSE 15 global provider of information and analytics focused on science and health, risk and business, legal and exhibitions, with more than 33,000 employees and offices in 40 countries. She is Chair of the United Nations Global Compact Network UK; Chair of the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Council of the Conference Board; and a member of the Board of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, she holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and a PHD in Economic History from the London School of Economics. She was named Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours List and lives in London with her husband and two boys.

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Hazel Baker: Why don’t you share a little bit about your favourite part of the museum? 

Dr Marcia Balisciano : Hmm. My favourite part is every bit of the house. But I will choose one. I do have to say though that every time I entered the building and I’ve been doing that a very long time, because I’m the founding director. I am just as excited and awed by the fact that this wonderful, small Georgian building still stands, but it’s actually at the very, very top of the house, which the public don’t normally see. Although they can see that on Bloomberg connects, which is a wonderful guy that our partner Bloomberg has established to highlight really great things about culture in London and New York.

You’ll see an image of our show control system. It’s like a brain and it is what makes our show run. So we do three things, Hazel, that are kind of core activities for us at Benjamin Franklin House. When we’re open to the public, it is a non COVID times are hopefully very soon. It is showcasing a wonderful story about Franklin and London, because to the extent that people know anything about Benjamin Franklin, they may not know that as you said in your introduction, that the only house still standing is not in Boston, where he was born, not in his adopted city of Philadelphia, nor in Paris in Passy, where he was only eight years during the American revolution.

But it is this house in London. Just, you know, in the heart of the city that still stands. But that show is using technology that we think really would have interested Benjamin Franklin, who said he was born a couple hundred years too soon. So we have a kind of showpiece for 21st century technology in a grade one listed 18th century building.

And we use live performance, a character from Franklin’s London, household Polly. And then we also have visual imagery that pops up and sound to really make it an immersive experience almost as if you’ve gone back in time. So that’s one thing we do. We also have a student science centre focused on engaging young people and children on Franklin’s inventiveness.

And in fact, our mission is to bring history and innovation to life. And then our top floor with our show control system is, we call the Robert H. Smith scholarship centre and that’s under the auspices of where we bring the intellectual capital of the house with about 40 public events every year to a wide audience.

Hazel Baker: That sounds fantastic. I must admit I was really tempted to do your Thanksgiving dinner. Really wanted to go on that one, but maybe next year, maybe next year. So it sounds like your call three principles, you know, run through everything that you do. 

Dr Marcia Balisciano : Yes. Those are really at the heart of our offerings, but there’s a lot of value added activities that we do as well under the auspices. For example, of our student science centre, we have family days, we do a literary prize for young writers, which is endowed by our chair Johnston Sinskey. So we give a prize for a young writer under the age of 25 and then a second prize, also a cash prize as well to recognize their work and pick up on Franklin’s excellence as a writer. He was a great polymath. He did pretty much everything, but his greatest way of sharing his ideas was through the pen. He was not known as being a great orator. So there’s a lot of crossover in the three things that we do, but really at the heart of it is about engaging people in the history of Benjamin Franklin House and also doing our part to share the legacy of this very fascinating individual, who still has something to teach all of us, I believe.

Hazel Baker: Yeah. That’s a really interesting point. Now, if people are coming to the museum, what would they first experience? 

Dr Marcia Balisciano : Well, you would first come to the front door of the house and I encourage anyone who listens to this podcast to, as they cross over the threshold of Benjamin Franklin House, actually, look behind you at the inside of the front door and the accoutrements that are there. And you’ll see that we actually have the original 18th century door locking system, which is a very frightening looking spiral coil and a chain that would have been placed any time you were locking the door, for example, at the end of the day. So it’s fascinating right from the very first steps into 36 Craven street.

You see, as you come in on the right-hand side, something, we called Margaret Stevenson’s parlour. Because actually, Benjamin Franklin was not the owner of 36 Craven street, he was a lodger. But there’s this great quote that I like about how he was less a lodger than the head of a household living in serene comfort and affection. He even had a cat. And as you pointed out, it was a calling card for anyone who was visiting London to come to see and pay their respects to Dr. Franklin, particularly from the colonies. So the house served as the first de facto American embassy. But it’s a very wonderful example of a work a day, Georgian building.

There are really great 18th century grand houses across England that you can visit. But this is a good example of something that was maybe not meant to stand the test of time, but did. A little terrace house that’s sandwiched in between its neighbours. As you said, circus 1730. And it just shows you that originally the house was about two and a half frames deep and so very narrow, but it was expanded over time.

So there is what was called about closet wing, that closet extension. And that’s very visible as you come into our courtyard space. If you’re coming in to pick up your tickets or see our shop, you can get a sense of that back part of the building, which was an add-on, but it added more bitty space to what was already a small space. But I think the house has had its own will to survive because it’s survived a lot. 

The Georgians thought that when they added that back closet addition, they would take away the men’s hard roof which must’ve looked really lovely. And they put a flat roof on the house. Maybe it was cheaper, I don’t know, but it actually was pressing over time on the exterior walls of the foundation, so that was creating some issues. And then when people go into Franklin’s parlour, which was the main place that Franklin entertained guests. And it’s the only room in the house that has dental moulding because indeed it was not a grand house. So it has some beautiful architectural features like the staircase, which is original with some beautiful turn balustrades. But other than that, it’s pretty plain. So when you are in Franklin’s parlour and you look to the two doors that are there, you can look up along the ceiling where the ceiling meets the wall and you’ll see a cut into that dental moulding. And that’s because the Victorians decided to carve up as much space in the house as possible.

So it was built as a lodging house and that’s what it was used as. And actually at the turn of the 20th century, Benjamin Franklin said that there were two things in life that you could count on, death and taxes, and the Craven family for whom the street is named, were falling on some hard times, decided to sell the freehold to the building because they landed aristocracy, stayed landed because they didn’t give away the land on which the building sat.

But here they did give what eventually becomes British rail then Southern railway company, the freehold to the building when they decided to sell. And so they operated the rail company, Benjamin Franklin house as a small hotel, the Empress hotel. And that’s what it was until the outbreak of the second world war.

But what was happening by the 1970s, because you have this roof, which is too heavy, pushing the walls outward, but then you have those Victorians that cut into the main structural beam of the house causing the walls to about inward. And then on top of that, more and more water is coming back into the London water table because it’s not being pulled out for manufacturing purposes. So you get this destabilization, which is affectionately known as subsidence. And that is causing a real issue for the building. So we were actually on Westminster city council, which is where we’re located. There are statutory authority. We were on their watch list. They were very concerned that we would be like a building that was diagonally across the street from us, which actually fell down. But because we, when we were leaning, we could kind of lean on to our neighbour. So I do think it’s an awesome responsibility and a great honour to be the director of Benjamin Franklin house. But I do feel that it has had its own will to survive. And in fact, they say that an incendiary bomb fell on the house during the second world war, but didn’t explode. But whether that’s actually true or fiction, we don’t know. 

Hazel Baker: Wow. Well, as you said, you know, Benjamin Franklin was born two centuries to and he’s got plenty to teach us. And it sounds like that the house is a proven fact of that. Plenty to fight for and to show. And you’ve got some amazing artefacts in there as well, haven’t you? 

Dr Marcia Balisciano : Yeah, we are really driven by the story of Benjamin Franklin House so we don’t actively acquire, but we are delighted with the things that we do have. For example, Franklin’s wallet. So when you open it, it says B Franklin Craven street, which is amazing.

We also have a medallion that was done by Nini, who was a great artist of the day and a sculptor and it shows Franklin wearing his coonskin cap. So he liked to exploit his image as a colonial everyday person. But actually I’m not sure he ever wore a hat like that, at least not when he wasn’t sitting for being remembered in in a medallion. But we know that Benjamin Franklin loved to try and dictate to those of us that have succeeded him in how we think about him. So during his time in England, he actually wrote his autobiography or at least the first part of it. He was friends with a great number of people and you mentioned some of them in the introduction. Members of the lunar society. Oh, they were so endlessly fascinating to Franklin. And they were all very similar individuals who were curious. And it didn’t matter that Josiah Wedgwood was making pottery in China or there was an industrialist and Matthew Bolton, they just were curious and they believed in the scientific method and they believed in trying and testing and so forth.

So Franklin was very much about in his autobiography trying to say what he wanted us to know about him. So he talks about, for example, his improvement system, his 13 virtues that he tried as a young person. So he said that if he concentrated on 13 different virtues, one a week, like not talking too much and not drinking too much and lots of other things. And if you concentrated on just that one virtue for one whole week, and then he ran through his course in 13 weeks that maybe some of this stuff would get ingrained, but he actually found, he said that he was much fuller of faults than he had expected.

So, he also talked about his food likes and dislikes. For example, he talked about how he started out as a young man, deciding that he wanted to be a vegetarian, which was very forward thinking. But when he saw that fish ate other fish, he decided that actually he didn’t want to be a vegetarian anymore.

And another wonderful document that we have to go by in terms of Franklin’s life is his Craven street Gazette, which he wrote as a spoof about life in his London household. And he talks about how his landlady’s daughter and son-in-law, when the landlady Margaret Stevenson, who he called Queen Margaret had gone away and he was left in their company that they needed to pool their resources to do the shopping, but he didn’t want them to buy roast beef. And he wanted Margaret to get him an ivory handled backscratcher because beef made his back itch. Or the fact that. Polly, the landlady’s daughter almost turned over a tea table in Franklin’s parlour, and you can see that the house is secure today, but not particularly level. Maybe not in those days either, but it’s a really charming set of stories that he wrote for their amusement and for ours.

Hazel Baker: Oh, that sounds brilliant. Fun, isn’t it? I mean, that’s another element of that I do admire though, cause you do think of science, natural science and writing and philosophy, but there’s also that fun creative element as well with the gazette, isn’t it?

Dr Marcia Balisciano : Yeah. I mean, one of the things about historical figures is that we tend to put them on a very high shelf. And Revere them or not Revere them as the case may be, but not really see them in a rounded 360 sense of their faults and their attributes. And that’s one of the things that I really like about Benjamin Franklin is his sense of humour that comes through. But he was as deeply flawed as the rest of us. It’s part of the human condition. I mean, what kind of guy goes away and leaves his wife Deborah, who was afraid of crossing the ocean back in Philadelphia for all those years. Now he comes, as you say, in July 1757. And his main mission is to convince the pens to start paying more tax. They’re the proprietary owners of Pennsylvania.

They thought Franklin was really uncouth that he didn’t know how to negotiate properly. And they didn’t like the way he was pushing them at all, because Franklin was trying to get them to pay for some expensive things happening on the home front, like the French and Indian war. But he had a fall back which was to get George III to take over Pennsylvania as a Royal colony, if he couldn’t get what he wanted or achieved. But he is very much someone that speaks to us because he did have his failings. He leaves his wife, as I say, but also one of the most important relationships that he had was with his son, William. So Franklin comes to London initially with that son, William, and Franklin had three children, a daughter that remained behind. And in fact, you know, what he found in London was very similar to what he’d left behind in Philadelphia. His landlady was a fine upstanding woman and she had a young daughter, a teenager, and that’s pretty much what he had left behind. So he felt very comfortable. 

But William joins him and becomes the Royal governor of New Jersey. Franklin is so proud. He comes to London because he’s studying at the temple bar, not that far away from Craven street and Franklin must have been so delighted that he was able to play such an important role in politics. But toward the end of his day, so he comes initially 1757 to 1762, and that’s when he thinks he’s done everything that he can to work with the pins. And he actually goes home for about 18 months and he doesn’t come back again until 1764. And then he does not leave again until 1775. So this is very long period of his life. And so in the final days he’s been working for years to try and effect some third way between what the colonists want and what the crown wants. And he just feels that if each could give a little bit, that they could maybe meet in the middle, but it’s not to be. 

And a real big turning point comes from Benjamin Franklin’s willingness to keep secrets. So one of the secrets he keeps is he never reveals who his son William’s mother was. William is illegitimate. So he had a younger son with his wife, Deborah, who was actually a common law wife, because when he came to England the first time himself in his late teens at 19 year old to learn about the printing trade. And probably was having a wonderful time as young as we all, as young people do or did as a case maybe.

But he learned a lot about life. And we don’t know where William’s mother was. Was she British? Was she American? But Deborah agrees. She was seeing him, if you will, before he had gone off to London that first time, and she got tired of waiting, he didn’t even write her while he was on that first trip to London. And so she married somebody else. And when Franklin gets back from this first sojourn in London, he discovers that actually she’s been married, but the husband is missing. He’s gone off somewhere, maybe to the West Indies. He’s never heard from again. So they decide to get married, but they can’t really get married formerly because the husband’s body has never recovered. And so Deborah was his common law wife. 

But anyway, William is with him in those early days. But at the end of his latter part of his stay at Craven street, Franklin had leaked some letters to the sons of Liberty in Boston, people like Samuel Adams. Because one of the official crown roles that Franklin had was to be postmaster for the colonies. So he sent these letters that he got ahold of and said, look, you need to know what’s being said about you, which is these people in Massachusetts are getting a little unruly. It could come to pass that we have to send in the troops. So Franklin said, know what’s being said, but do not print these letters. But they were agitating toward revolution. And so they wanted them printed and they did. And there’s a duel in high park between two people who each accused the other one of having leaked these letters. And finally Christmas day of 1773, Franklin says, I leaked the letters, but I will not tell you who my source was. And this leads to this trial in the house of commons, which is supposed to be about removing the person who wrote the letter, Thomas Hutchinson, the last crown appointed governor of Massachusetts from office, but it becomes a trial of Franklin.

And actually one of my favourite anecdotes is proving the point that Franklin was not an orator. One of his friends said, you didn’t really say much in your own defense. And he said, well, they were throwing up so much mud I thought I would wait until it dried and brush it off. So this trial, strips him of his duties for the crown. So he no longer can be postmaster. He is reviled by the solicitor general, who’s leading the trial, Alexander Wedderburn. And Franklin comes out of this thinking, I’m still going to try to find that reconciliation if possible, but his mind has turned. When it comes time for him to decide whether he is an American, and by the way, he’s Anglo American, because his father comes from Acton in North Hamptonshire, and his mother was born on an Island 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts Nantucket. But he feels, you know, I’m born in America first and foremost, that that’s where my loyalties lie. But he is writing his son, and he’s saying to William, I think it’s time for you to leave your post. Getting late now. We’re going to have to take sides. This is going to come to a pass and it’s going to be conflict. 

And William says, father, you’re asking me to do something that’s treasonous, I cannot do this. And so it leads to the perhaps the greatest breach of Franklin’s life that he couldn’t really forgive his son for the choice that the son makes. William is removed from the state house after the outbreak of the revolution, he’s in prison in Connecticut. Exiled to England and they never see each other privately again. The story is they see each other when Franklin is calling into Portsmith on his way back to Philadelphia, after having served as the first formal representative of the US government to the French court during the revolution.

And you just have to wonder, here’s someone that actually was able to maintain many friendships with many British people during this time of strife between the crown and what the American colonies, but he was not able to reach reconciliation with his own son. 

And actually one of the lovely sub-stories that we have to tell. There’s a reason that Pauli is our main character. She knew Franklin very, very well. And they wrote to each other a lot, even when Franklin was living at Craven street, because her father had died young, he was out visiting different relatives. And so they had a wonderful correspondence. And Franklin wrote some of his very interesting letters on science. And actually he says that the end of one letter, I’m not going to sign off this letter with love and affection because I’ve just written x number of folio pages on natural philosophy to a young girl. And that is proof of my respect in and of itself. So we like to think that Franklin was he for she before it was fashionable.

But anyway, it is a fascinating part of his life that Polly actually is writing to Franklin when he’s in France and Franklin says, why don’t you come? Her mother’s passed away by this point, she’s got three children. Why don’t you come and we could all be together again. And she says, well, I can’t do that right now because that would be treasonous. So like, we’ve got to wait, but when the war is over, he takes the kids and she goes to Philadelphia. And when he dies in 1790 at his bedside with his daughter, Sally is Polly. And all of the descendants of Polly’s family become American because of Franklin. 

And actually when we opened on Franklin’s 300th birthday, for the first time we had members of the Houston family, that was her, her married name, who were with us. 

Hazel Baker: I did not know that. Isn’t that wonderful? 

Dr Marcia Balisciano : There are so many great stories at Benjamin Franklin House. I would love to tell you each and every one.

Hazel Baker: No, that is brilliant.

Dr Marcia Balisciano : Well, he thought I was just going to tell you one of the stories that relates to Polly’s husband. So it was really charming when she meets this young surgeon named William Houston. She writes Franklin, I have met somebody, I think you’re really going to like him. And he walks her down the aisle in the absence of her father. And he really takes a shine to this young, bright scientist. And he helps to negotiate a breach with one of his mentors, William Houston’s mentors. So William Hunter, who’s one of the great anatomists of his day. In fact, we’re not that far away from the Hunterian museum, a little bit farther down off of the strand and the Kingsway. And he encourages William to set up his own anatomy school in Benjamin Franklin House in the late 1990s, just before I began. 

The board had found enough money to do the exterior conservation of the building, and they were doing some work in the basement. And one day they came across some human remains. So work had to stop. They called in the coroner of London, Paul Nachman. And Dr. Nachman determined that the bones were over a hundred years old, so no inquest would be necessary. And what we had to do was piece, pardon the pun, the story together. 

Out of a one meter wide, one meter deep pit, which is all we gave the archaeologists room for and time for, was about 1200 pieces of people. And so I think one of the London papers ran a story was Benjamin Franklin, a serial killer, but no, he wasn’t. These are the bones that remained from the anatomy school. It’s quite interesting because we found animal remains from the school in the front of the house, but we found human remains in the back of the house.

So it was really fascinating to go back and read some of the notes that are in the Hunterian museums collection. For example, about what Houston was actually teaching these, these young would be surgeons because this is a time when a lot of your diplomacy’s happening on the battle field, and there is a skill to be had and performing amputations. So we found femurs, for example, that have been sawn in a particular way. So you get the sense and you can see that in the notes as well, about what types of anatomy work he was teaching. So it’s a really fascinating story that adds to the richness of the history of Benjamin Franklin House.

Hazel Baker: Well, it sounds amazing. And also you mentioning about friendships, Benjamin Franklin writes to his sister as well, doesn’t he? 

Dr Marcia Balisciano : So I mentioned that we don’t really actively acquire, but we’re so happy with the wonderful pieces that we do have, including a letter that Benjamin Franklin wrote to his sister from the house, Jane Meekum. And he had a very close relationship with his sister and it’s a really charming letter. And he also mentioned something about his work on bifocals or better spectacles. 

And actually there’s one thing that you noted in the introduction, which isn’t quite true. He actually did not invent bifocals when he lived in London, but he was a really great marketer and he was a really great person to look at something and think about how it could be improved.

So he saw something that was like bifocals. And he said, Hmm, this could be made better. And then he also was very good about creating a market for things because he ordered many pairs of them. And actually our street is so wonderful, Craven street, we have the college of optometrists and their museum about optometry. And they actually loaned to us a prototype of the bifocal lens is so it’s something else that people can see when they come and visit us.

Hazel Baker: That’s amazing. I must have absolutely missed them. So I’m going to come back and rediscover that more. Well, we’ve talked about the letter to her sister and the relationship also with Polly, it sounds like he was actually quite a gentle soul and actually got on with people. A lot of big brains if you think of Dr. Samuel Johnson, he was rather awkward to sign with James Boswell, but he sounds like he actually really got on with people, not just the brains in society, but women and normal people as well. 

Dr Marcia Balisciano : I think that’s something that’s really great about Benjamin Franklin, his congeniality. There’s some charming stories about how, when he was in France and he had one of his compatriots who was also helping with the negotiations with the French, John Adams. And they have to go out somewhere together on a journey. And they have to spend the night in the same room together and how Franklin wanted the window open to let the health full air in. And that’s something that children delight in when they come on our school visits is that we talk about Benjamin Franklin taking an air bath because he wrote about this. Opening the windows and getting up in the morning, being completely naked.

I thought that was very, very helpful. And he had really forward thinking ideas about the common cold. If you get in a carriage with a bunch of people who aren’t very well, that you might end up sick yourself and nothing was brought that kind of thing home to us than the COVID-19 pandemic, which we’ve all been living with over the last year. But Franklin also wanted the window open when he was staying with John Adams. And actually Adams had a problem with how Franklin was conducting himself full stop. Because Franklin slept in, he was socializing and being charming and Adams wanted things done in a very rigorous and a serious way, but actually it was those relationships that Benjamin Franklin was able to develop precisely by being a great conversationalist and being someone, as you say that people could get on with that were beneficial to his work.

Hazel Baker: That’s brilliant. I’m getting to know him more as a person now than just as you said, you know, that name on the top of a pillar. When people are able to get out and about and come to the museum how should they experience it? 

Dr Marcia Balisciano: Well, they can go to our website to book tickets, and we will probably, when we can reopen in May 2021. After government restrictions are lifted to allow museums and galleries to open, we will have probably an abbreviated schedule until the demand really picks up.

But definitely we’ll be open Friday, Saturdays and Sundays from May. And then hopefully we will revert to a fuller schedule as the year progresses because in normal times we also run an architectural tour on Mondays, which is docent led really digging into the architectural value of the building, as well as some of the stories.

And then also on Tuesdays, we’re close to the public and open normally in non COVID times to school groups. But Wednesday to Sunday, again, our full schedule is when our historical experience runs. So we want people to visit us if they can in person also engage with our programming online, we have Ben’s digital book club, for example. We have lots of virtual lectures. We have a flagship lecture that we do each year called the Rob the Smith family foundation lecture in American democracy, which over the last few years we’ve been doing with the London school of economics. So there’s a lot of ways that people can engage with us.

Hazel Baker: Fantastic. So Marcia thank you so much for your time today. I have really, really enjoyed it. And I’ve learned so much. Is there any one final thing that you want to share with the people listening?

Dr Marcia Balisciano: I really like a quote from Franklin’s autobiography. It’s my favourite series of quotes from Franklin. And forgive me if I don’t get it quite right. But Franklin said to resolve to perform what you ought and perform without fail what you resolve. And I think that those are really great words for living.

Hazel Baker: I would have to agree with that. That’s brilliant. So thank you so, so much for your time today. I’ve really enjoyed it. I hope everybody else has, including yourself. 

Dr Marcia Balisciano: It’s been lovely to talk to you, Hazel. Thank you so much for this opportunity to bring Benjamin Franklin house to a broader public. 

Hazel Baker: No, not at all.

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