Benjamin Franklin: Philadelphia’s favorite Founding Father continues to influence his adopted city. His name, likeness, and philosophies permeate Philadelphia, and for a good reason.
The shortlist: He discovered electricity in storm clouds; founded the University of Pennsylvania, the American Philosophical Society, and the country’s first volunteer fire department; invented bifocals, swim fins, and the lightning rod; published Poor Richard’s Almanack and the country’s first political cartoon; helped to draft the Declaration of Independence; and signed the Declaration and the Constitution. What does his gravestone say? “Printer.” Franklin fans throw pennies on it—in honor of his penny-saved-penny-earned advice—at Christ Church Burial Ground. Arch Street, between 4th & 5th Streets, (215) 922-1695