The Franklin Institute is a museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and one of the oldest centers of science education and development in the United States, dating to 1824. The Institute also houses the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial. On February 5, 1824, Samuel Vaughn Merrick and William H. Keating founded The Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts.
The museum began in 1825 in its original building at 15 South 7th Street and moved into its current home on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, near that parkway's intersection with 20th Street, over 100 years later, in 1934. Funds to build the new Institute and Memorial on the Parkway came from the Poor Richard Club, the City Board of Trust, the Benjamin Franklin Memorial, Inc., and The Franklin Institute. John T. Windrim's original design was a completely square building surrounding the Benjamin Franklin Statue, which had yet to be built. Despite the effects of the Great Depression, the Benjamin Franklin Memorial, Inc. raised $5 million between December 1929 and June 1930. Only two of the four wings envisioned by Windrim were built. The Franklin Institute was integrated in 1870, when Philadelphia teacher and activist Octavius Catto was admitted as a member.