BROADBENT, BIRDSALL HOLLY (27 Sept. 1894-23 Dec. 1977), a Cleveland dentist and orthodontist, invented a head positioning device used in taking radiographs of the face and teeth. Born in Lockport, New York, to James F. and Mabel Holly Broadbent, he graduated from Western Reserve University Dental School in 1919 and began specializing in orthodontia. During the 1920s, Broadbent and Dr. T. Wingate Todd developed the cephalometer, which holds a patient's head stationary when x-rays are taken. The cephalometer gave dentists a practical method of diagnosing abnormal growth. For his work, Broadbent received the Ohio Dental Association's 1952 John R. Callahan Memorial Award. In 1929, Broadbent became Director of the Bolton Fund of Western Reserve, the world's largest individually endowed fund for dental research. He helped assemble the world's largest collection of serial cephalometric records, and in 1933 the results of his study of facial development were displayed at the Chicago World's Fair. In 1948, Broadbent became clinical professor of dental facial anatomy at WRU. In 1960, Broadbent received an honorary degree from Dublin University; in 1966, he became an honorary fellow in dental surgery at the London Royal College of Surgeons; and in 1967, he received an honorary Doctor of Science from WRU. As a youth Broadbent was among the first joiners of the Boy Scouts in America in 1910, beginning a 60 year association with Scouting. He received the Silver Beaver Award in 1952.
Broadbent married Bernice Mathews in 1921 and had four children, Ann Holden, Jane Paisley, Frances Philbrick and Dr. Birdsall Holly Broadbent, Jr. He died in Kirtland and his ashes were buried in the Brooklyn Hts. Cemetery.