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Artifact Spotlight: Benjamin Franklin and the Mastodon Tooth
Portion of the basement in Franklin's property prior to the building's rehab in the 1960s
Photo courtesy Independence National Historical Park
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In 1953, an electrician working in the basement of a building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, unearthed a grey and white stone about the size of a large grapefruit. The basement was in a building that had belonged to one of the architects of American independence: Benjamin Franklin. The object was a fossilized mastodon