1908 Franklin Institute of Technology
Benjamin Franklin is most often thought of in connection to his adopted city of Philadelphia, but he was raised in Boston, and remembered his birth city at his death. His will included a provision providing that a thousand English pounds from his estate (about $60,000 in current funds) be invested for a hundred years and then gradually released to the city of Boston, with a particular aim of aiding “young workmen.” (An identical provision was made for the city of Philadelphia.) In 1908, Boston decided to use the money accumulated in its account (which ultimately totaled millions of dollars), supplemented with an additional donation from Andrew Carnegie, to create a technical school called the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. Inspired by Franklin’s maxim that good workmen make good citizens, it is now one of the oldest industrial training schools in the country, offering job-oriented education (mostly two-year associate degrees) to a student body with a large representation of low-income students and minorities.