Ben Franklin was a weird dude. As we've covered before, he was extremely difficult to work with. John Adams was once forced to share a bed with him, and was exposed to Franklin's weirdest hobby: taking regular "air baths."

Franklin believed - somewhat correctly, though against conventional wisdom of the day - that illness spreads via stagnant air. He thought it was "frowzy corrupt air" (grundle funk) trapped by oppressive clothing that was the source of most ill health - and he had just the solution!

In this letter to his doctor buddy, he raves about his radical new discovery of... reading naked and then taking a nap:

I mean cold air. With this in view L rise almost every morning and sit in my chamber without any clothes whatever, half an hour or an hour, according

This air bath is not disagreeable in the least, but indeed most agreeable; and if later I slide into my bed, before dressing, as I sometimes do, I sle

I find no bad consequences from this habit and I am convinced there is no prejudicial effect to my health, but on the contrary the air bath helps me t

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I would wish therefore, in future, to recommend the air bath as strengthening and enjoyable.

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