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Biographical entry Franklin, Philip Julius (1880 - 1951)

MRCS 7 February 1907; FRCS 11 December 1913; LRCP 1907; Hon FACS 1925.

1 February 1880
San Francisco, USA
7 January 1951
ENT surgeon


Born in San Francisco on 1 February 1880, the eldest child of J Lewis Franklin, a business man, and his wife née Last; his father died while he was still a boy. He was educated at Lowell High School and the University of California. Coming to Europe he worked at Heidelberg University and at King's College, London. He took his clinical training at King's College Hospital, qualified in 1907 and set up in practice as an otologist London, after a period as a research worker in the Middlesex Hospital Cancer Laboratories with a scholarship from the Salters Company. He served as house surgeon at the London Throat Hospital, and as registrar and then assistant surgeon at the Metropolitan Ear, Nose, and Throat Hospital. Franklin took the Fellowship in 1913. He became in due course surgeon for the ear, nose, and throat at the East London Hospital for Children, at the Infants' Hospital, Vincent Square, at the Italian Hospital, and at the Sutton and Cheam Hospital. He was also consultant in the ear and throat department of the Margaret Street Hospital for Consumption, and the Fairlight Sanatorium at Hastings. During the war of 1914-18 Franklin served as surgical specialist to the Royal Air Force voluntary hospitals in Eaton Square and Bryanston Square, and was mentioned in despatches. He was commissioned a major in the RAMC.

Franklin was particularly interested in the education of deaf-mutes. He was consultant to the Deaf Baby Clinic at Westminster Children's Hospital, and organized a research clinic for deaf mutes at the Infants' Hospital. Franklin kept closely in touch with America, and introduced new American methods and instruments to English practice, especially in connexion with his work for deaf-mutes. He was a vice-president of the American Institute for the Deaf and Blind, and was elected in 1925 an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He was an active member of the laryngology section of the Royal Society of Medicine, and served as its honorary secretary and on its council. He was also a member of the Medical Society of London. In 1925 Franklin arranged a successful meeting in London of the Interstate Postgraduate Assembly of North America, of which he was an honorary member. When the remarkable collection of specimens illustrating the anatomy of the nasal sinuses, which had been formed by Adolf Onodi of Vienna, came up for sale in 1921, Franklin organized a committee in London who raised a fund and bought the collection for the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons. Franklin initiated this generous undertaking and did all the work.

Franklin married in 1903 Ethel, youngest daughter of Lewis White. Mrs Franklin, who was a distinguished patroness of music with wide public and social interests, lost her life tragically when their house, 27 Wimpole Street, was burnt down early in the morning of Sunday, 10 November 1935. Franklin later lived at 11 Wimpole Street. He died after a very brief illness, having been at work within a few days of his death, at the Middlesex Hospital on 7 January 1951, aged 70. Franklin was of distinguished appearance and of very upright carriage, slightly above middle height and young-looking for his years, alert, affable, and industrious in good causes. He was survived by his daughter and two sons, Dr Alfred White Franklin, FRCP, the paediatrist, and Dr John Lewis Franklin, MD, the dermatologist.

The middle and internal ear. Oxford Index of Therapeutics 1921.
Intranasal treatment by ionisation in hay-fever, vasomotor rhinitis, and ozaena. Brit med J 1932, 1, 751.
Early education of the deaf mute. Lancet, 1935, 1, 316. This paper describes new American instruments.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 9 January 1951, p 6e; Lancet, 1951, 1, 177; information from his son, Dr A White Franklin, FRCP; personal knowledge].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England