Benjamin Franklin

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Social Studies
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Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Framklin

LifeBenjamin Franklin was born in Boston on January 17, 1706. Born into a family of soap makers, Franklin had little formal education. He went on to start a printing business and grew wealthy. Manily renown for being one of the Founding Fathers who drafted the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States; Bejamin Franklin was also talented as writer, inventor, diplomat, businessman, musician, scientist, humorist, and civic leader.

Benjamin Franklin was extremely tanlented in an enomorous amount of fields, however, he was especially interested in health-felated topics. He was was not formally trained as a physician but that still didn't stop him from pursuing interests in medicine. Among Franklin’s contributions to the fields of health, fitness and medicine: medical institutions, small pox, Common cold, lead poisoning, bifocal lenses, and the catheter.

Modern Medical PracticesWhile Benjamin Franklin was not a doctor, he gave input on topics of medicine which adressed various medical issues during his time. He gave theories on the common cold and while his theories were not technical he did uncover that the common cold was an airborne illness. His discovery of the effects of lead posioning on the body helped raise awarness and it would be proven later on that posion does in fact damage the body. His inventions like the catheter and bifocal lenses have been improved and are still used today.

Contributions to Healthcare

Benjamin Franklin

Bifocal lenses

Flexible Catheter

Bifocals are eyeglasses with an upper and lower half, the upper for distance, and the lower for reading. Bifocals are commonly prescribed to people with presbyopia, a condition that Franklin suffered. Franklin wrote, in August 1784 to his friend George Whatley, that he was "happy in the invention of double spectacles, which serving for distant objects as well as near ones, make my eyes as useful to me as ever they were."

In Franklin's day, catheters (tubes inserted through the urethra into the bladder to drain urine from the body) were rigid and quite painful. Franklin devised a catheter with a flexible tube. John, Ben's older brother, suffered from kidney stones, and so Ben found a way to ease some of the disconfort for his brother.

Benjamin Franklin worked in the printing business for quite some time. At the job, Benjamin Franklin worked with warm leab. He noticed that working with lead caused stiffness and soreness. Franklin also observed patients who worked with lead all suffered dry belly ache, after a visit to a hospital in France These were some of the earliest discoveries of health risks related to exposure to lead.


Lead Posioning

Bifocal Lenses

Citations.Inquiring Medical. (n.d.). Retrieved September 25, 2015, from Franklin's Contribution - MediMizer | CMMS | Hospital Management Software. (n.d.). Retrieved September 25, 2015, from Retrieved September 25, 2015, from


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