Why Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay about farting and why his idea has legs

Why Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay about farting and why his idea has legs

Benjamin Franklin is best known to his contributions to the founding of the United States of America and innovations like the bifocals and the Franklin stove. But few know about the essay Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1781 about a peculiar issue: farting.

According to Vox, Franklin wrote a thorough and scientifically-motivated argument to the Royal Academy of Brussels, which he titled “To the Royal Academy of Farting,” or “Fart Proudly.” While some people are aware of Benjamin Franklin’s flatulence essay, very few people know why he wrote it. Like with all things Franklin attempted, “Fart Proudly” had a utilitarian goal that Franklin wanted to accomplish. Benjamin Franklin wanted the Royal Academy to invent a medicine that would make farts smell better.

“It is universally well known, That in digesting our common Food, there is created or produced in the Bowels of human Creatures, a great Quantity of Wind… That the permitting this Air to escape and mix with the Atmosphere, is usually offensive to the Company, from the fetid Smell that accompanies it.”

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