"Electrical battery" of Leyden jars, 1760-1769
Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004
Click to Enlarge

Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004

  • Overview
  • Description
  • Further Information
"Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World," Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary traveling exhibition, 2005-2008
Related Publications

Talbott, Page, ed., Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World (New Haven and London: Yale University, 2005) (companion book to exhibition of same title)

A modern brass plate on the box states that this battery was used by Franklin. The sophistication of its design suggests it is a European version of the battery, one which he could have acquired during the years he lived in London or Paris. It was received by the American Philosophical Society in 1836 from Joseph Hopkinson. Hopkinson was the son of Francis Hopkinson, the colleague to whom Franklin left many "philosophical instruments" (pieces of scientific equipment) in his will. The directness of the connection makes it very possible that these were owned/used by Franklin. However, specific documentation in Franklin's papers has not yet been found.
postmaster@benfranklin300.org Terms of Use Credits