One of the most interesting trips that we have taken was to the printing press shop. What first caught my attention was that i thought it would be a chocolate shop trip but that was quickly overshadowed when i saw the guy completely dressed as if he was Benjamin Franklin and living in those times. Looking at all the equipment, i realized how much effort and time went into printing something in those times. The set up for printing took hours, requiring every letter to be precisely set in place before the actual printing could happen. The letters would have to be blotted with an ink ball and then pressed down (hence printing press) really hard in order to get the letters on the paper. It is impressive how something like the printing press could be created given the intricate process that it takes in order to get the final print, however i am grateful that now we have much simpler ways of printing thanks to the printing press. The guy who looked scarily similar to Benjamin Franklin was very informative and knew so much about the printing press and Franklin himself. It was an interesting and cool trip that i have never experienced before. Below is a picture that i took of the experience of Professor Allison in action with the ink balls.
Franklin writes Silence Dogood essay number 7 on June 25th, 1722. The subject of the essay revolves around the notion that “good poetry is not to be expected in New-England.” He talks about how the reason for this lack of poetic genius is not due to educational reasons, but rather that people do not give the proper praise and encouragement to pieces or authors that deserve so, resulting in more discouraged authors and unrecognized pieces of work.
Franklin spends a large part of this essay examining exceptional works of poetry, focusing mainly on elegies and pieces of writing that he considers to be elegant and beautiful. Franklin also expresses his critical side to poetry in a satirical manner. The phrase “It may justly be said in praise, without Flattery to the Author” indicates that Franklin is being discreet about his distaste for a poem while still making it sound like a compliment but “our soil seldom produces and other sort of poetry” besides those that are “wretchedly dull and ridiculous.” Franklin wants the world to be enriched with “more excellent productions” of writing that he admires and wants to break from the mundane writing that typically is produced. Franklin then goes to give guidelines on how to write a funeral elegy for the “well-meaning fellows, who do their best, and that if they had but some instructions how to govern fancy with judgement, they would make indifferent good elegies.” He believes that with some guidance, writing and poetry will improve and people will “thereby endeavor to discover to the world some of its beautys.”
It is evident that Franklin finds strong interest in elegies and has a passion for strong writing, if only there could be more of it. His satirical statements serve as a way for people to sympathize with his need for beautiful writing and understand the lack of it around them. He seems to believe that better writing results in the entire world becoming more enriched as he stresses the importance of it through critical satire.
Located on Milk st in Boston near the Old South Meeting House is a statue of Benjamin Franklin that sits on the building that this inventor, businessman, diplomat, scientist, etc. was born in. Born on January 17, 1706, Benjamin grew up having 16 other siblings but being the youngest son of Josiah Franklin, who was a candle and soap maker, and Abiah Folger. Out of this crowded little home in Boston emerged a figure who would change the way we live forever, most notably with his discovery of electricity which we of course still use to this day.
Benjamin’s birth home lasted 120 years until the building was destroyed in 1811. The statue commemorates Benjamin Franklin as he served as one of the most important historical figures of all time. His birthplace remains as one of many Boston landmarks and as a reminder of Franklin’s humble beginnings for all to see.