The only surviving home of Benjamin Franklin in London opened as a museum in 2006. Off Trafalgar Square, the modest four-story brick building was Franklin's residence from 1757 to 1775, when he was a diplomat on behalf of American colonists. Curators call the house "the first de facto U.S. Embassy." The building was also the site of many of Franklin's scientific experiments. It was here that he invented bifocal glasses and created the ethereal-sounding musical instrument, the glass harmonica. Franklin lived here in "serene comfort and affection," often having a full household of friends or relatives. Visitors can view the parlor where Franklin -- a great fan of fresh air -- sat "air bathing" naked by the open windows. The museum stages a "Historical Experience" every 45 minutes throughout the day. Visitors are taken through the various rooms by actors presenting a re-creation of Franklin's last night in London.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Recommended 2010