Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia

post written by Emma Filbrun

Title: Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia
Author: Margaret Cousins
Series: Landmark Books
Major Themes: Ben Franklin, Inventors, Scientists, Family Read-alouds, Biography, United States History, Colonial Era (US), American Revolution
Synopsis: Benjamin Franklin’s life as an inventor, scientist and statesman is told in a very interesting way.

The library we went to when I was a girl had a number of Landmark Books. I always enjoyed them, but they have become hard to find. Fortunately, a few have been reprinted, and Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia is one of those. This book brought Ben Franklin to life, and told his story in a lot of detail, but still kept our interest.

Ben Franklin began life in Boston, on Milk Street. He loved to swim and fish from a very young age, and once got his friends to help him build a wharf with stones intended for use in building a building nearby—just a hint of the ideas he would have in years to come! By the time he was twelve, he found himself an apprentice to his older brother as a printer, the title he liked best for himself the rest of his life.

Ben Franklin made his fortune as a printer, especially after he began writing and selling Poor Richard’s Almanac. He invented many useful things, but didn’t try to make money off them. He is also remembered for his political achievements, as he helped the American colonies win their independence from England. He found himself separated from his family for many years when he was an ambassador in France, but he took grandsons with him, so he was not completely away from his family. He also continued his scientific investigations while he traveled—he was one of the first to chart the Gulf Stream!

Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia is great for anyone who loves to read about real people, or who is interested in inventions. It is also a wonderful resource for studying about the period just before and during the American Revolution. It’s an interesting story in its own right, as well.

No warnings!

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12


Links to buy Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia:

Amazon: Paperback | Hardcover

AbeBooks: View Choices on

Book Depository: Paperback


Ben Franklin, Inventors, Scientists, Family Read-alouds, Biography, United States History, Colonial Era (US), American Revolution

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