Benjamin Franklin’s Writing Resurfaces

On Tuesday, our favorite balding founding father and 100 dollar bill dude, Ben Franklin turned 311. That’s quite an age, Mr. Franklin, yowza! But before he was a founding father, Franklin was a printer. It turns out his first piece of printing is now on display at the University of Pennsylvania to celebrate his birthday.

The New York Times writes:

“Penn Libraries recently acquired the only known surviving copy of a 1723 Franklin broadside, showing an elegy for a Philadelphia poet and printer named Aquila Rose, and topped with a bold skull and crossbones motif. The broadside, created when Franklin was 17, first surfaced in the 1820s, amid a wave of antiquarian interest in America’s founding generation, but then disappeared from view, until a dealer recently discovered it pasted inside a scrapbook.”

The print is from 1723 and will be on display with the scrapbook, where it was found.




Images courtesy of The New York Times and