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Statue of Benjamin Franklin (San Francisco)

Benjamin Franklin
The statue in 2007
MediumSculpture: Bronze
Base: Granite
SubjectBenjamin Franklin
LocationSan Francisco, California, United States
Coordinates37°48′03″N 122°24′36″W / 37.80082°N 122.41000°W / 37.80082; -122.41000

Benjamin Franklin – also known as the Benjamin Franklin Memorial, Benjamin Franklin Statue and Cogswell Historical Monument[1] – is an outdoor sculpture in Washington Square, San Francisco, California.[2]


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The smaller-than-life-size bronze statue of American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, by an unknown sculptor, stands upon an ornate granite base, that contains a time capsule. There are inscriptions on all four sides of the base. Spigots once dispensed drinking water into three stone basins. The spigots have been removed.


Created as a Temperance fountain by crusader Henry D. Cogswell, the monument was originally installed at Kearny and Market Streets in 1879. In 1904, it was relocated to Washington Square.[3]

In 1979, 100 years after its creation, a time capsule that was hidden in the statue's base was removed and opened, and contained Cogswell's personal papers. A new time capsule, to be opened in 2079, was installed.[4]

In popular culture

The statue is visible behind Richard Brautigan and Michaela Le Grand on the original cover of Brautigan's 1967 novel Trout Fishing in America.

See also


  1. ^ "Benjamin Franklin, (sculpture)". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved February 23, 2016. Note: Control Number: IAS CA000016.
  2. ^ "Benjamin Franklin, (sculpture)". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved February 23, 2016. Note: Control Number: IAS CA000029.
  3. ^ Myrick, David F. (1972). San Francisco's Telegraph Hill. Howell-North Books. p. 139. ISBN 9780831070939. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  4. ^ Time capsules in San Francisco, from Using San Francisco History.
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Statue of Benjamin Franklin (San Francisco)
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