Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 68


The first members were Joseph Breintnal, a copyer of deeds for the
scriveners, a good-natur'd, friendly middle-ag'd man, a great lover
of poetry, reading all he could meet with, and writing some that was
tolerable; very ingenious in many little Nicknackeries, and of
sensible conversation.

Thomas Godfrey, a self-taught mathematician, great in his way, and
afterward inventor of what is now called Hadley's Quadrant. But he
knew little out of his way, and was not a pleasing companion; as, like
most great mathematicians I have met with, he expected universal
precision in everything said, or was forever denying or distinguishing
upon trifles, to the disturbance of all conversation. He soon left us.

Nicholas Scull, a surveyor, afterwards surveyor-general, who lov'd
books, and sometimes made a few verses.

William Parsons, bred a shoemaker, but, loving reading, had acquir'd a
considerable share of mathematics, which he first studied with a view
to astrology, that he afterwards laught at it. He also became

William Maugridge, a joiner, a most exquisite mechanic, and a solid,
sensible man.

Hugh Meredith, Stephen Potts, and George Webb I have characteriz'd

Robert Grace, a young gentleman of some fortune, generous, lively, and
witty; a lover of punning and of his friends.

And William Coleman, then a merchant's clerk, about my age, who had
the coolest, clearest head, the best heart, and the exactest morals of
almost any man I ever met with. He became afterwards a merchant of
great note, and one of our provincial judges. Our friendship continued
without interruption to his death, upwards of forty years; and the
club continued almost as long, and was the best school of philosophy,
morality, and politics that then existed in the province; for our
queries, which were read the week preceding their discussion, put us
upon reading with attention upon the several subjects, that we might
speak more to the purpose; and here, too, we acquired better habits of
conversation, everything being studied in our rules which might
prevent our disgusting each other. From hence the long continuance of
the club, which I shall have frequent occasion to speak further of

But my giving this account of it here is to show something of the
interest I had, everyone of these exerting themselves in recommending
business to us. Breintnal particularly procur'd us from the Quakers
the printing forty sheets of their history, the rest being to be done
by Keimer; and upon this we work'd exceedingly hard, for the price was
low. It was a folio, pro patria size, in pica, with long primer
notes.[55] I compos'd of it a sheet a day, and Meredith worked it off
at press;

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

Page 0
Page 1
_Muschenbroek_'s wonderful bottle.
Page 4
Then electricise the bottle, and place it on wax.
Page 6
If you would have the whole filletting round the cover appear in fire at once, let the bottle and wire touch the gold in the diagonally opposite corners.
Page 12
See s.
Page 13
Page 15
But this machine is not much used, as not perfectly answering our intention with regard to the ease of charging,.
Page 22
Particles happening to be situated as _A_ and _B_, are more easily disengaged than _C_ and _D_, as each is held by contact with three only, whereas _C_ and _D_ are each in contact with nine.
Page 29
If the source of lightning, assigned in this paper, be the true one, there should be little thunder heard at sea far from land.
Page 34
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Nay, even if the needle be placed upon the floor near the punch, its point upwards, the end of the punch, tho' so much higher than the needle, will not attract the scale and receive its fire, for the needle will get it and convey it away, before it comes nigh enough for the punch to act.
Page 37
From the middle of the stand, let an iron rod rise and pass bending out of the door, and then upright 20 or 30 feet, pointed very sharp at the end.
Page 38
Reading in the ingenious Dr.
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 46
So the air never draws off an electric atmosphere from any body, but in proportion to the non-electrics mix'd with it: it rather keeps such an atmosphere confin'd, which.
Page 48
Another chain was fix'd to the prime conductor, and held in the hand of a person to be electrised.
Page 49
And indeed, as that smell so readily leaves the electrical matter, and adheres to the knuckle receiving the sparks, and to other things; I suspect that it never was connected with it, but arises instantaneously from something in the air acted upon by it.
Page 52
Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Surgery at Paris.
Page 53
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[10] In the dark the electrical fluid may be seen on the cushion in two semi-circles or half-moons, one on the fore part, the other on the back part of the cushion, just where the globe and cushion separate.