The Academy of Natural Sciences

Hard to believe I’ve passed this place a million times driving up the Ben Franklin Parkway, yet this weekend marked the first time I’ve been there since a grade school field trip in likely 6th or 7th grade. Pretty cool to see the dioramas and all the detail they put into them. Worth a visit if you’re in Philly!

Franklin Institute Map from 1934

Recently came across this on Ebay and had to have it. Franklin Institute map and exhibit list from 1934 (going by the included Planetarium card with a 1934 schedule).

The crazy part of this map is the description of the basement, which has always been off limits as far as I remember. I would LOVE to see whats still down there!

Franklin Institute W3TKQ QSL Card from 1958

Being a Philly native, I have fond memories of the Franklin Institute from class trips and family outings. Growing up in the 80s and 90s I remember there being a new-ish ham radio station on the 4th floor where the telescope still is. Sadly like many things there it’s long gone, but I happened to find and acquire this old QSL card from the original station in 1958!

I do collect some FI ephemera, especially looking for ANYTHING from when they had the Futures center in the 1990s. Hit me up if you have any!

The ham radio station at the Franklin Institute was a partnership with a local ham radio club called the Philmont Mobile Radio Club. You can read more about the history of the station on the site here: . On a side note, I’ve hung out with the guys at Philmont and even got my ham radio license via their monthly testing sessions. If you’re looking for a local club, they’re a good one to check out!

I purposely left the rear of the card off as I have to censor some of the data, but the operator at the time was Nelson Schurr, W3DYP who filled and sent the card.

Stay tuned for more cool Franklin Institute stuff!