Francisco Salva Campillo

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Francisco Salva Campillo (Catalan: Francesc Salvà i Campillo, July 12, 1751 – February 13, 1828) was a Spanish Catalan physician, physicist and meteorologist.


Francisco Salva Campillo was born in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, on July 12, 1751. He was the son of Dr. Jerome Salva Pontich, the doctor of the Barcelona General Hospital. His mother, Eulalia Campillo, came from a wealthy family. He did his primary studies in Barcelona, probably directed by his uncle.

During his adolescence, his extraordinary abilities attracted the attention of the Bishop of Barcelona, Josep Climent, who advised his parents to let him study medicine in Valencia.

He studied at the University of Valencia, where he completed his course in three years instead of the usual four. In 1771, he successfully passed the Bachelor of Medicine exams at the University of Huesca. In the same year, he earned his doctorate in medicine at the University of Toulouse.

At the age of only 22 years, in 1773, he became a member of the Academy of Medical Practice.

Medical career[edit]

He took a special interest in vaccination, particularly against the disease of smallpox.

He received several awards from the Paris Society of Medicine.

He started a medical school in Barcelona in an effort to train more doctors.


In 1795, Dr. Salva presented at the Academy of Natural Sciences and Arts of Barcelona his first report devoted to "The Electricity applied to telegraphy." Salva demonstrated the basis of electric telegraphy, anticipating the wireless telegraph and undersea cables.[1]

The presentation of Salva attracted the attention of government.[citation needed]>

He received a formal invitation to demonstrate his telegraphic skills before the Royal Family in Aranjuez.[citation needed]


He left behind a massive library composed of more than five hundred thousand volumes on medical topics. Along with these works, he bequeathed to the Royal Academy of Medicine of Barcelona a sum of four thousand pounds.

In accordance with his will, his heart is preserved in an urn, with his books, at the Royal Academy of Medicine of Barcelona.


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