Franklin Institute, in Philadelphia; chartered and opened 1824 "for the promotion of the mechanic arts," the first of its kind in the country. It was named for Benjamin Franklin. Since the 19th cent. it has been noted for its lecture series, trade exhibitions, investigations of new inventions, and work on governmental, industrial and scientific problems. Its Science Center develops, maintains, and presents programs and exhibits, many of them interactive. It also supports technological and science education, hosts the Franklin Awards for science and technology, and oversees the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial. The Journal of the Franklin Institute (published continuously since 1826) enjoys wide recognition, and its library is one of the outstanding technical collections in the country. In addition, the Institute maintains two film theaters and the Fels Planetarium (est. 1933, renovated 2002).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.