Scientist, inventor, diplomat, statesman, philanthropist - Benjamin Franklin’s long list of contributions to American history demonstrates the brilliance and public spirit that made him an enduring legend. Franklin also made his mark as a writer of poems and essays, even as a teenage printer-in-training, when he lived on Milk Street and attended church in the 1669 wooden meeting house on this site. Franklin scholar Robert Martello helps us peek over the shoulder of this literary founding father, born January 6, 1706 and baptized at Old South Meeting House. Experience the political controversies, pen names, wisdom, and humor that shaped not only Franklin’s career, but the identity of the young republic.
Part of the Series Bibliophile Birthdays: Celebrating the Authors of Old South Meeting House
BIO: Dr. Robert Martello
Dr. Robert Martello received his Ph.D. from MIT's Program in the History and Social Study of Science and Technology, following his completion of a Master of Science degree in civil and environmental engineering and Bachelor of Science degree in earth, atmospheric, and planetary science from MIT. Prior to joining the Olin College faculty in 2001 during Olin’s “partner” year, Dr. Martello lectured in MIT’s history of technology program and served as the Producer for the “Digital History” component of Inventing America, an American history textbook. Dr. Martello's Ph.D. dissertation and ensuing research use Paul Revere's many manufacturing and entrepreneurial endeavors to tell the story of America's transition from craft practices to industrial capitalism.