Past Meeting

This Society meeting was held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday January 15, 2023
at Tredyffrin Public Libary in Strafford, Pa.

co-sponsored by the Tredyffrin Public Library as an online web seminar.

Annual Meeting

NOTE: Before the featured presentation, we held the Society's Annual Meeting to briefly conduct some necessary official business, mainly the election of officers & board members and presentation of the annual report, followed by concise updates on the Society's status and ongoing activities.

Mike Kochan portrays Ben Franklin and recreates some of his experiments.

Ben Franklin Explains Electricity

presented by Mike Kochan

Our January meeting featured local historian and re-enactor Mike Kochan in his familiar role as Benjamin Franklin. On this occasion, Ben spoke about “Man’s understanding of electricity up to the Franklin kite experiment.” and also demonstrated some of his recreations of Franklin's devices.

Photo by Al Pochek

Mike Kochan appears as a Ben Franklin interpreter at many regional historic events, and is particularly known for his recreations of Franklin’s experiments. Mike also bears an uncanny resemblance to Dr. Franklin.

With the background of a toolmaker, Mike has researched and replicated Civil War torpedoes, using them in living history programs for almost two decades, and has appeared on History Channel and Discovery Channel programs. About twelve years ago he started to replicate 18th-century technology including electrical and vacuum equipment, microscopes, telescopes, and also the “Turtle” submarine a stealthy underwater weapon system used against British warships during the Revolutionary War. About 10 years ago he started to portray Ben Franklin and present Living History programs at historic sites such as Paoli Battlefield Heritage Day, Fort Mifflin, Easton Heritage Day, Hope Lodge, and others. Along the way, he developed several PowerPoint presentations, among them one that shows the time line of the development and understanding of electricity, starting at 582 BC and culminating in 1752 with Franklin's kite experiment and his invention of the lightning rod. Recent additions include some aspects of Ben's experiments, as shown on the “Franklin’s Electric Kite” History Channel program.


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