Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is the home of our founding fathers. The Franklin Institute honors America’s first scientist, Benjamin Franklin. The Franklin Institute’s mission is to inspire passion for learning about science and technology. Since I was here for a medical device conference, it was only fitting that I visit this museum. As a plus, the Franklin Museum is part of the Philadelphia CityPASS. The transportation, The Big Bus Company and Philadelphia Trolley Works, is also included as well.

We arrived at the Franklin Institute around lunch time and the exterior of the museum was regal as it was illuminated by the high noon sunshine. The six pillars at the top of the stairway to the entrance were so elegant and part of an architect’s dream. To beat the lunch crowd, we headed straight to the Franklin Foodworks. It is a cafeteria-style eatery with an array of choices. I grabbed a pre-made Cobb Salad. I wanted something light as we were doing a lot of walking and hopping on and off of the buses and trolleys. The lettuce was fresh and crisp. The chicken, bacon, and bleu cheese were a little light in portion, but the cupcake made up for it. The fresh-baked carrot cake cupcake was fluffy and not too heavy. The cream cheese icing was perfectly creamy and not too sweet. Overall food rating: 4/5

After lunch, we walked over to the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial. A 20-foot high marble statue of Benjamin Franklin is the centerpiece of the rotunda. It was sculpted by James Earle Fraser and weighs 30 tons. The statue sits upon a 92-ton pedestal made of white Seravezza marble. The rotunda was designed by architect John T. Windrim and modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. The marble in the rotuna are made of rare marbles imported from Portugal, Italy, and France.

The Giant Heart exhibit is the main place I wanted to check out at the Franklin Institute. The Giant Heart has been here for over 50 years. Fun fact: The Giant Heart is the right size for the Statue of Liberty if she ever needed a heart transplant. A surgical suite of current medical devices for cardiothoracic surgery was on display. The former company I worked for made a laser for Transmyocardial Revascularization (TMR), a therapy procedure to relieve chronic angina and it was on display. It was really neat to see our device in a museum.

Pendulum Staircase is a show in itself as you watch the pendulum swing constantly in the same direction as the Earth rotates beneath. In doing so, the pendulum will eventually knock down pegs as the Earth rotates on its axis. The pendulum ball is shiny; like a giant “steely” from childhood marble-playing days. We stayed there for a good 15 minutes just watching it. It was quite hypnotic.

There are many more exhibits to at the Franklin Institute and activities for children to play and learn. We hopped back on the bus to get a glimpse of the Liberty Bell.

Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 4 out of 5 stars
Décor: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 4 out of 5 stars

For more information:
271 N 21st St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Hours: Daily from 9:30am to 5pm (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Thursday, April 23, 2015)
Parking: Garage parking, check website for parking rates

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