Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 54

satires, Vol. III, Epist. ii, page 70.

[42] The printing press at which Franklin worked is
preserved in the Patent Office at Washington.

At my first admission into this printing-house I took to working at
press, imagining I felt a want of the bodily exercise I had been us'd
to in America, where presswork is mix'd with composing. I drank only
water; the other workmen, near fifty in number, were great guzzlers of
beer. On occasion, I carried up and down stairs a large form of types
in each hand, when others carried but one in both hands. They wondered
to see, from this and several instances, that the _Water-American_, as
they called me, was _stronger_ than themselves, who drank _strong_
beer! We had an alehouse boy who attended always in the house to
supply the workmen. My companion at the press drank every day a pint
before breakfast, a pint at breakfast with his bread and cheese, a
pint between breakfast and dinner, a pint at dinner, a pint in the
afternoon about six o'clock, and another when he had done his day's
work. I thought it a detestable custom; but it was necessary, he
suppos'd, to drink _strong_ beer, that he might be _strong_ to labour.
I endeavoured to convince him that the bodily strength afforded by
beer could only be in proportion to the grain or flour of the barley
dissolved in the water of which it was made; that there was more flour
in a pennyworth of bread; and therefore, if he would eat that with a
pint of water, it would give him more strength than a quart of beer.
He drank on, however, and had four or five shillings to pay out of his
wages every Saturday night for that muddling liquor; an expense I was
free from. And thus these poor devils keep themselves always under.

[Illustration: "I took to working at press"]

Watts, after some weeks, desiring to have me in the composing-room,[43]
I left the pressmen; a new bien venu or sum for drink, being five
shillings, was demanded of me by the compositors. I thought it an
imposition, as I had paid below; the master thought so too, and forbade
my paying it. I stood out two or three weeks, was accordingly considered
as an excommunicate, and had so many little pieces of private mischief
done me, by mixing my sorts, transposing my pages, breaking my matter,
etc., etc., if I were ever so little out of the room, and all ascribed
to the chappel ghost, which

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Text Comparison with Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

Page 0
COLLINSON, of _London_, F.
Page 2
At the same time that the wire and top of the bottle, &c.
Page 9
If they touch while electrising, the equality is never destroy'd, the fire only circulating.
Page 10
As the vessel is just upon sailing, I cannot give you so large an account of American Electricity as I intended: I shall only mention a few particulars more.
Page 12
Set that down on glass which you held by the hook, take it up by the coating, and bring the two hooks together: a spark and shock will follow, and both phials be discharged.
Page 20
Then apply the giving wire to the shot, and give the spark it wanted, so will the cork return: Give it another, which will be an addition to its natural.
Page 22
Page 23
Page 24
If much loaded, the electrical fire is at once taken from the whole cloud; and, in leaving it, flashes brightly and cracks loudly; the particles instantly coalescing for want of that fire, and falling in a heavy shower.
Page 26
The air so rarified and forced up, passes northward and southward, and must descend in the polar regions, if it has no opportunity before, that the circulation may be carried on.
Page 28
surface of your body; whereas, if your clothes were dry, it would go thro' the body.
Page 31
Page 34
Page 39
We have since found, that one strong shock breaks the continuity of the gold in the filleting, and makes it look rather like dust of gold, abundance of its parts being broken and driven off; and it will seldom conduct above one strong shock.
Page 41
It is said in section 8, of this paper, that all kinds of common matter are supposed not to attract the electrical fluid with equal strength; and that those called electrics _per se_, as glass, &c.
Page 44
The quantities of this fluid in each surface being equal, their repelling action on each other is equal; and therefore those of one surface cannot drive out those of the other: but, if a greater quantity is forced into one.
Page 45
But the instant the parts of the glass so open'd and fill'd have pass'd the friction, they close again, and force the additional quantity out upon the surface, where it must rest till that part comes round to the cushion again, unless some non electric (as the prime conductor) first presents to receive it.
Page 52
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stitch'd, or 2s.
Page 54
[9] See s 10 of _Farther Experiments_, &c.