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Published: March 7, 2011

American Society Held in Philadelphia for Promoting and Propagating Useful Knowledge

A clublike association formed in 1727 by Benjamin Franklin and nine other intellectuals to discuss “morals, politics or natural philosophy” and virtually every other area of human concern. Originally known informally as Franklin’s junto, it adopted its prodigious formal title in the 1760s as it grew in membership and influence. It had far-reaching influence in producing social reforms and legislation in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. Franklin later merged it into the AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY after he helped found that organization.