After a tradesman career of wallpaper hanging, Patrick ("Pat") McBride became a living history reenactor portraying Benjamin Franklin in 2019.
Pat has always had an interest in history as a long-time coin collector, but becoming Franklin was inspired by a suggestion from his good friend and 25-year reenactor, Dennis Boggs (who portrays Abraham Lincoln): “You know, Pat, you would make a wonderful Ben Franklin. You certainly have the personality for it!” Pat was already portly and balding, so he took the next economical step by letting his hair grow and purchasing a tri-corner hat.
He quickly immersed himself in the 18th century by reading everything about Benjamin Franklin he could get his hands on. After a few years of reenacting, he's accumulated a wardrobe of colonial clothing from various vendors.
His appearances include regional and national coin shows, history centers, colonial fairs, club gatherings, and social events. He is based in Pennsylvania but is available to travel and has performed in various states.
This photo shows his very first purchases - hat, glasses, and shoes. Once he bought the shoes, he knew there was no turning back.
Patrick in his first full costume in 2018 posed in front of his personal library.
The long red waistcoat was indicative of early Eighteenth Century dress.
His newest costume features more historically accurate eyeglasses and cloth buttons.