Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 3

to
forward the Transactions, as well as to the Council for so readily
ordering them on Application. Please to accept and present my Thanks.

I just now learn, that some observers say, the Ball was 150 Seconds
in rising, from the Cutting of the Cord till hid in the Clouds;
that its height was then about 500 Toises, but, being moved out of
the Perpendicular by the Wind, it had made a Slant so as to form a
Triangle, whose Base on the Earth was about 200 Toises. It is said
the Country People who saw it fall were frightned, conceiv'd from its
bounding a little, when it touched the Ground, that there was some
living Animal in it, and attack'd it with Stones and Knives, so that it
was much mangled; but it is now brought to Town and will be repaired.

The great one of M. Montgolfier, is to go up, as is said, from
Versailles, in about 8 or 10 Days; It is not a Globe but of a different
Form, more convenient for penetrating the Air. It contains 50,000
cubic Feet, and is supposed to have Force of Levity equal to 1500
pounds weight. A Philosopher here, M. Pilatre du Rozier has seriously
apply'd to the Academy for leave to go up with it, in order to make
some Experiments. He was complimented on his Zeal and Courage for
the Promotion of Science, but advis'd to wait till the management of
these Balls was made by Experience more certain & safe. They say the
filling of it in M. Montgolfier's Way will not cost more than half
a Crown. One is talk'd of to be 110 feet Diameter. Several Gentlemen
have ordered small ones to be made for their Amusement. One has ordered
four of 15 feet Diameter each; I know not with what Purpose; But such
is the present Enthusiasm for promoting and improving this Discovery,
that probably we shall soon make considerable Progress in the art of
constructing and using the Machines.

Among the Pleasanteries Conversation produces on this Subject, some
suppose Flying to be now invented, and that since Men may be supported
in the Air, nothing is wanted but some light handy Instruments to
give and direct Motion. Some think Progressive Motion on the Earth
may be advanc'd by it, and that a Running Footman or a Horse slung and
suspended under such a Globe so as to have no more of Weight pressing
the Earth with their Feet, than Perhaps 8 or 10 Pounds, might with a
fair Wind run in a straight Line across Countries

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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 24
Whirlwinds generally arise after calms and great heats: the same is observed of water-spouts, which are, therefore, most frequent in the warm latitudes.
Page 35
I suppose it avoids too dry air, and therefore we never see these shoots ascend.
Page 49
182 and 223.
Page 72
But the least crevice is sufficient for the purpose; a pinhole will do the business.
Page 74
This prudence of not attempting to give reasons before one is sure of facts, I learnt from one of your sex, who, as Selden tells us, being in company with some gentlemen that were viewing, and considering something which they called a Chinese shoe, and disputing earnestly about the manner of wearing it, and how it could possibly be put on; put in her word, and said modestly, _Gentlemen, are you sure it is a shoe?--Should not that be settled first?_ But I shall now endeavour to explain what I said to you about the tide in rivers, and to that end shall make a figure, which though not very like a river, may serve to convey my meaning.
Page 109
A confirmation of this I have not since had an opportunity of obtaining: but discoursing of it with another person, who had often been in the Mediterranean, I was informed, that the.
Page 139
Falmouth for the captains of the packets, who slighted it however; but it is since printed in France, of which edition I hereto annex a copy.
Page 141
With this view the methods so successfully practised by Captain Cook in his long voyages cannot be too closely studied or carefully imitated.
Page 142
Would it not be well if this custom could be changed; if the voyager after having, without interruption, made all his preparations, should use some of the time he has left, in going himself to take leave of his friends at their own houses, and let them come to congratulate him on his happy return.
Page 164
| 80 | 77 | | 23 |35 35 |40 52| 7 | 77 | 78| 75 |North|W ¼ S | 100 | | omitted.
Page 183
2.
Page 232
Towards the end of the last century an ingenious French philosopher, whose name I am sorry I cannot recollect, exhibited an experiment to show, that very offensive things might be burnt in the middle of a chamber, such as woollen rags, feathers, &c.
Page 271
Another from the substantive _progress_, the most awkward and abominable of the three: _the committee having_ progressed, _resolved to adjourn_.
Page 303
But however frugality may supply the place, or prodigality counteract the effects, of the natural or acquired subsistence of a country, industry is, beyond doubt, a more efficacious cause of plenty than any natural advantage of extent or fertility.
Page 318
How so? Why, truly, the cloth is exported; and that keeps up the price.
Page 322
" "How so?" "When my daughter appeared with it at meeting, it was so much admired, that all the girls resolved to get such caps from Philadelphia; and my wife and I computed, that the whole could not have cost less than a hundred pounds.
Page 329
The practice of robbing merchants on the high seas--a remnant of the antient piracy--though it may be accidentally beneficial to particular persons, is far from being profitable to all engaged in it, or to the nation that authorises it.
Page 360
depends on payment of loans, 373.
Page 383
311.
Page 394
Pg 101.