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Home > Publications > Quill > SPJ Report: Benjamin Franklin print shop rededicated


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Friday, June 30, 2006
SPJ Report: Benjamin Franklin print shop rededicated

By Andrew Kevorkian

Two ninth-generation descendants of Benjamin Franklin helped the Greater Philadelphia Chapter rededicate a plaque marking his printing shop as a “Historic Site in Journalism” on April 8.

The plaque was originally installed in 1961, but recent modernization of the area necessitated removal of the plaque.

Appropriately, the brother and sister (O’Donnell and Maud Iselin) who took part in the 1961 ceremony were on hand as each of their children (Margaretta, 13, and Timothy Welles, 14) unveiled the plaque at its new location, near the original site.

It was from here, near the northeast corner of Second and Market streets, that Franklin printed his newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, and Poor Richard’s Almanack.

The Greater Philadelphia Chapter was formed in 1960; the Franklin shop was the first of six Historic Sites it has marked.

The others are at:

• 134 Market St., marking John Dunlap’s printing shop where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were first printed, as well as the Pennsylvania Packet, the first successful daily newspaper.

• The rear of Franklin Court, marking the home of Sarah Josepha Hale who, for 40 years, edited Godey’s Ladies Book, forerunner of today’s women’s magazines.

• Sixth and Chestnut streets, the Ledger Building, the site of the first Hoe rotary press, which made possible today’s newspapers.

• Sixth and Walnut streets, the Curtis Building, home of some of the 20th century’s leading women’s magazines and the Saturday Evening Post.

• 230 S. 21st St., home of Richard Harding Davis, the most celebrated war correspondent of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

After the ceremony, there was a luncheon at nearby historic City Tavern, where Franklin and the other Founding Fathers often dined.


Phil Beck is president of the Chapter, and Andrew Kevorkian, a founder-member, headed the Plaque Dedication committee.

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