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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 124

XXXV, 56-87
(Jan., 1933), and "Toward a Reinterpretation of Thomas Paine,"
_American Literature_, V, 133-45 (May, 1933).

[i-476] _Writings_, IX, 520.

[i-477] _Ibid._, VIII, 561. See also IX, 506.

[i-478] Aug. 22, 1784; unpublished letter in W. S. Mason Collection.
Also see _Writings_, VIII, 113; IX, 476, 488, 621.

[i-479] I. W. Riley, _American Thought from Puritanism to Pragmatism_,

[i-480] Parton, _op. cit._, I, 546.

[i-481] He admonished Deborah, his wife, that she "should go oftener
to Church" (_Writings_, IV, 202), and his daughter, Sarah, "Go
constantly to Church, whoever preaches" (_Ibid._, IV, 287).

[i-482] _Letters to Benjamin Franklin from His Family and Friends,
1751-1790_ (New York, 1859), 10.

[i-483] Franklin's English friends, Dr. Richard Price, Joseph
Priestley, Rev. David Williams, Dr. John Fothergill, Peter Collinson,
Sir Joseph Banks, Jonathan Shipley, Lord Kames, Sir William Jones, et
cetera, though not all deists, found Newtonian science useful in
augmenting their philosophies.

[i-484] _A Discourse ..._ (London, 1775), 33. For background material
on the history of this concept see L. E. Hicks, _A Critique of
Design-Arguments_ (New York, 1883).

[i-485] N. Meredith, _Considerations on the Utility of Conductors for
Lightning ..._ (London, 1789), 44-5. See especially the characteristic
notice in _Monthly Review ..._, XLII (London, 1770), 199-210, 298-308.

[i-486] For references see B. Fay, _The Revolutionary Spirit in France
and America_; E. E. Hale and E. E. Hale, Jr., _Franklin in France_; L.
Amiable, _Un loge maconnique d'avant 1789 ..._.

[i-487] _Writings_, IX, 436.

[i-488] W. T. Franklin ed. of Franklin's _Writings_ (London, 1818), I,

[i-489] See similar expression in letter to Mme Brillon, cited in J.
M. Stifler, _The Religion of Benjamin Franklin_, 55-6.

[i-490] _Writings_, III, 135.


1706. Benjamin Franklin born in Boston, January 17 (January 6,
1705, O. S.).

1714-16. After a year in Boston Grammar School is sent to learn
writing and arithmetic in school kept by George Brownell, from
which, after a year, he is taken to assist his father, Josiah,
a candlemaker.

1717. James Franklin returns from England, following apprenticeship
as printer.

1718. Benjamin is apprenticed to brother James.

1718-23. Period of assiduous reading in Anthony Collins,
Shaftesbury, Locke, Addison and Steele, Cotton Mather, Bunyan,
Defoe, etc.

1719. Writes and hawks ballads of the "Grub-Street" style, "The
Lighthouse Tragedy" and "The Taking of Teach the Pirate."

1721-23. Aids brother in publishing the _New England Courant_.
During 1722-23 in charge

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

Page 0
COLLINSON, of _London_, F.
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But here we have a bottle containing at the same time a _plenum_ of electrical fire, and a _vacuum_ of the same fire; and yet the equilibrium cannot be restored between them but by a communication _without_! though the _plenum_ presses violently to expand, and the hungry vacuum seems to attract as violently in order to be filled.
Page 4
Page 7
The repellency between the cork-ball and the shot is likewise destroy'd; 1.
Page 8
This difference between fire-light and sun-light, is another thing that seems new and extraordinary to us.
Page 14
This was discovered here in the following manner.
Page 16
Gild likewise the inner edge of the back of the frame all round except the top part, and form a communication between that gilding and the gilding behind the glass: then put in the board, and that side is finished.
Page 17
If now the wire of a bottle electrified in the common way, be brought near the circumference of this wheel, it will attract the nearest thimble, and so put the wheel in motion; that thimble, in passing by, receives a spark, and thereby being electrified is repelled and so driven forwards; while a second being attracted, approaches the wire, receives a spark, and is driven after the first, and so on till the wheel has gone once round, when the thimbles before electrified approaching the wire, instead of being attracted as they were at first, are repelled, and the motion presently ceases.
Page 28
When electrical fire strikes thro' a body, it acts upon the common fire contained in it, and puts that fire in motion; and if there be a sufficient quantity of each kind of fire, the body will be inflamed.
Page 31
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Without this attraction it would not remain round the body, but dissipate in the air.
Page 34
And as in plucking the hairs from the horse's tail, a degree of strength insufficient to pull away a handful at once, could yet easily strip it hair by hair; so a blunt body presented cannot draw off a number of particles at once, but a pointed one, with no greater force, takes them away easily, particle by particle.
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Page 41
When it is made narrower, as the figure between the pricked lines, we call it the _Golden Fish_, from its manner of acting.
Page 42
But, if the electrical fluid so easily pervades glass, how does the vial become _charged_ (as we term it) when we hold it in our hands? Would not the fire thrown in by the wire pass through to our hands, and so escape into the floor? Would not the bottle in that case be left just as we found it, uncharged, as we know a metal bottle so attempted to be charged would be? Indeed, if there be the least crack, the minutest solution of continuity in the glass, though it remains so tight that nothing else we know of will pass, yet the extremely subtile electrical fluid flies through such a crack with the greatest freedom, and such a bottle we know can never be charged: What then makes the difference between such a bottle and one that is sound, but this, that the fluid can pass through the one, and not through the other?[8] 29.
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The particles of the electrical fluid have a mutual repellency, but by the power of attraction in the glass they are condensed or forced nearer to each other.
Page 46
Let a second person touch the wire while you rub, and the fire driven out of the inward surface when you give the stroke, will pass through him into the common mass, and return through him when the inner surface resumes its quantity, and therefore this new kind of _Leyden_ bottle cannot so be charged.
Page 49
For if it was fine enough to come with the electrical fluid through the body of one person, why should it stop on the skin of another? But I shall never have done, if I tell you all my conjectures, thoughts, and imaginations, on the nature and operations of this electrical fluid, and relate the variety of little experiments we have try'd.
Page 53
This when brought to the lips gives a shock, if the party be close shaved, and does not breathe.