Benjamin Franklin is revered in history for his fixation on inventing practical ways to make everyday life easier. He was a prolific inventor and author, and spent his life tinkering and writing to share his knowledge with the masses.
One of the more surprising areas Franklin wanted to demystify for the average American? At-home abortions.
Molly Farrell is an associate professor of English at the Ohio State University and studies early American literature. She authored a recent Slate article that suggests Franklin's role in facilitating at-home abortions all started with a popular British math textbook.
Titled The Instructor and written by George Fisher, which Farrell said was a pseudonym, the textbook was a catch-all manual that included plenty of useful information for the average person. It had the alphabet, basic arithmetic, recipes, and farriery (which was hoof care for horses). At the time, books were very expensive, and a general manual like this one was a practical choice for many families.