Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

By Benjamin Franklin

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To Miss Catherine Ray (September 11, 1755), 274
To Miss Catherine Ray (October 16, 1755), 277
To Mrs. Jane Mecom (February 12, 1756), 278
To Miss E. Hubbard (February 23, 1756), 278
To Rev. George Whitefield (July 2, 1756), 279
The Way to Wealth (1758), 280
To Hugh Roberts (September 16, 1758), 289
To Mrs. Jane Mecom (September 16, 1758), 291
To Lord Kames (May 3, 1760), 293
To Miss Mary Stevenson (June 11, 1760), 295
To Mrs. Deborah Franklin (June 27, 1760),

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

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_ _It has, indeed, been of late the fashion to ascribe every grand or unusual operation of nature, such as lightening and earthquakes, to electricity; not, as one would imagine, from the manner of reasoning on these occasions, that the authors of these schemes have, discovered any connection betwixt the cause and effect, or saw in what manner they were related; but, as it would seem, merely because they were unacquainted with any other agent, of which it could not positively be said the connection was impossible.
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The fire takes the shortest course, as Mr _Watson_ justly observes: But it does not appear, from experiment, that, in order for a person to be shocked, a communication with the floor is necessary; for he that holds the bottle with one hand, and touches the wire with the other, will be shock'd as much, though his shoes be dry, or even standing on wax, as otherwise.
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The passing of the electrical fire from.
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Vary the experiment, by charging two phials equally, one thro' the hook, the other thro' the coating: hold that by the coating which was charged thro' the hook; and that by the hook which was charg'd thro' the coating: apply the hook of the first to the coating of the other, and there will be no shock or spark.
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--To find then, whether glass had this property merely as glass, or whether the form contributed any thing to it; we took a pane of sash-glass, and laying it on the stand, placed a plate of lead on its upper surface; then electrify'd that plate, and bringing a finger to it, there was a spark and shock.
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If the cut is through the picture 'tis not the worse.
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The particles of air are said to be hard, round, separate and distant from each other; every particle strongly repelling every other particle, whereby they recede from each other, as far as common gravity will permit.
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If the air was not much loaded, it only falls in dews on the mountain tops and sides, forms springs, and descends to the vales in rivulets, which united make larger streams and rivers.
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being already full.
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If a tube of only 10 feet long will strike and discharge its fire on the punch at two or three inches distance, an electrified cloud of perhaps 10,000 acres, may strike and discharge on the earth at a proportionably greater distance.
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the punch; or if in its course it would have come nigh enough to strike, yet being first deprived of its fire it cannot, and the punch is thereby secured from the stroke.
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greatest quantity.
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surface than the glass would naturally draw in; this increases the repelling power on that side, and overpowering the attraction on the other, drives out part of the fluid that had been imbibed by that surface, if there be any non-electric ready to receive it: such there is in all cases where glass is electrified to give a shock.
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Every electrician knows that a globe wet within will afford little or no fire, but the reason has not before been attempted to be given, that I know of.
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a strong purgative liquid, and then charged the phial, and took repeated shocks from it, in which case every particle of the electrical fluid must, before it went through my body, have first gone through the liquid when the phial is charging, and returned through it when discharging, yet no other effect followed than if it had been charged with water.