Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 156

who was
lately arrived from Scotland, and show'd me some electric experiments.
They were imperfectly perform'd, as he was not very expert; but, being
on a subject quite new to me, they equally surpris'd and pleased me.
Soon after my return to Philadelphia, our library company receiv'd
from Mr. P. Collinson, Fellow of the Royal Society[106] of London, a
present of a glass tube, with some account of the use of it in making
such experiments. I eagerly seized the opportunity of repeating what I
had seen at Boston; and, by much practice, acquired great readiness in
performing those, also, which we had an account of from England,
adding a number of new ones. I say much practice, for my house was
continually full, for some time, with people who came to see these new
wonders.

[106] The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural
Knowledge was founded in 1660 and holds the foremost
place among English societies for the advancement of
science.

To divide a little this incumbrance among my friends, I caused a
number of similar tubes to be blown at our glass-house, with which
they furnish'd themselves, so that we had at length several
performers. Among these, the principal was Mr. Kinnersley, an
ingenious neighbour, who, being out of business, I encouraged to
undertake showing the experiments for money, and drew up for him two
lectures, in which the experiments were rang'd in such order, and
accompanied with such explanations in such method, as that the
foregoing should assist in comprehending the following. He procur'd an
elegant apparatus for the purpose, in which all the little machines
that I had roughly made for myself were nicely form'd by
instrument-makers. His lectures were well attended, and gave great
satisfaction; and after some time he went thro' the colonies,
exhibiting them in every capital town, and pick'd up some money. In
the West India islands, indeed, it was with difficulty the experiments
could be made, from the general moisture of the air.

Oblig'd as we were to Mr. Collinson for his present of the tube, etc.,
I thought it right he should be inform'd of our success in using it,
and wrote him several letters containing accounts of our experiments.
He got them read in the Royal Society, where they were not at first
thought worth so much notice as to be printed in their Transactions.
One paper, which I wrote for Mr. Kinnersley, on the sameness of
lightning with electricity,[107] I sent to Dr. Mitchel, an acquaintance
of mine, and one of

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

Page 16
It retains some degree of this motion, and descending in higher latitudes, where the earth's motion is less, will appear a westerly wind, yet tending towards the equatorial parts, to supply the vacancy occasioned by the air of the lower regions flowing thitherwards.
Page 18
_On Water-Spouts.
Page 26
I own, however, that cold air descending, may, by condensing the vapours in a lower region, form and increase clouds; which, I think, is generally the case in our common thunder-gusts, and, therefore, do not lay great stress on this argument.
Page 30
In such case, the upper part A B C D only will be visible, and the bush, perhaps, below.
Page 38
But spouts have been known, when the lower region has been really cold.
Page 53
I intended to observe it, but was prevented by a north-east storm, which came on about seven, with thick clouds as usual, that quite obscured the whole hemisphere.
Page 114
I was present upon deck when this was done; and I should not have mentioned this circumstance to you, but that we have found people here so prejudiced against the experiment, as to make it necessary for the officers on board and myself to give a certificate of the truth on this head, of which we made no difficulty.
Page 128
For the upper sails have greater power to lay a vessel more on her side, which is not the most advantageous position for going swiftly through the water.
Page 142
I will therefore add only a few words more, and they shall be addressed to passengers.
Page 148
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Page 162
| | 13 |33 17 |33 32| 76| 76 | 78| 77 |N E |W ½ S | 103 | | 77 | 78 | | 14 |33 22 |34 31| 76| 76 | 81| 79 |S S E|W ½ N | 50 | | 81 | 79 | | 15 |33 45 |35 0| 78| 79 | 79| 78 |W N W|SW ¼W | 35 | | 79 | 79 | | 16 |34 14 |35 30| 79| 78 | 81| 80 |West |NW ½N | 38 | | 81 | 80 | | 17 |35 37 |36 4| 80| 79 | 80| 78 |W S W|N N W | 75 | | 80 | 78 | | 18 |36 .
Page 166
No moon, yet very little light in the water.
Page 186
II.
Page 210
Architects in general have no other ideas of proportion in the opening of a chimney, than what relate to symmetry and beauty, respecting the dimensions of the room;[52] while its true proportion, respecting its function and utility depends on quite other principles; and they might as properly proportion the step in a stair-case to the height of the story, instead of the natural elevation of men's legs in mounting.
Page 255
_] There are, moreover, included four other sets of circular spaces, excentric with respect to the first, each of these sets containing five spaces.
Page 257
--To.
Page 280
] REMARKS [_on the Alphabetical Table_.
Page 309
_" _Scheme of a voyage, by subscription_, to convey the conveniences of life, as fowls, hogs, goats, cattle, corn, iron, &c.
Page 361
_Dickenson_, Mr.
Page 383
79.