In the mid-1700s, Benjamin Franklin served as a delegate for colonial America and spent a great deal of time traveling to London and Paris. During this period, it was quite popular and entertaining for amateur musicians to perform on sets of "singing" or musical glasses. Franklin attended one of these concerts and was intrigued by the beauty of the sound. Almost immediately, he set to work applying the principles of wet fingers on glass to his own musical creation.Read More
What would you think if you saw a man chasing a thunder and lightning storm on horseback? You would probably wonder what on Earth he was trying to do. Well, if you lived in the 1700s and knew Benjamin Franklin, this is just what you might see during a terrible storm. Ben was fascinated by storms; he loved to study them. If he were alive today, we could probably add "storm-chaser" to his long list of titles.Read More
For centuries, medals have been used to commemorate important events and to recognize and reward individual accomplishment and achievement.
Serving as visual reminders of great events and people, these not so distant cousins to coins offer exceptional examples of the material culture of ceremony, celebration, and the public recognition of genius and creativity. By the 18th century, France had become the acknowledged leader of this practice of "sculpture in miniature." In fact, many of the dies for early American medals...were actually cast in France.*Read More