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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 218

and that soon to be sunk. The
wealthy Inhabitants oppos'd any Addition, being against all Paper
Currency, from an Apprehension that it would depreciate as it had done
in New England to the Prejudice of all Creditors.--We had discuss'd this
Point in our Junto, where I was on the Side of an Addition, being
persuaded that the first small Sum struck in 1723 had done much good, by
increasing the Trade[,] Employment, and Number of Inhabitants in the
Province, since I now saw all the old Houses inhabited, and many new
ones building, where as I remember'd well, that when I first walk'd
about the Streets of Philadelphia, eating my Roll, I saw most of the
Houses in Walnut Street between Second and Front Streets with Bills on
their Doors, to be let; and many likewise in Chesnut Street, and other
Streets; which made me then think the Inhabitants of the City were
deserting it, one after another.--Our Debates possess'd me so fully of
the Subject, that I wrote and printed an anonymous Pamphlet on it,
entituled, _The Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency_. It was well
receiv'd by the common People in general; but the Rich Men dislik'd it;
for it increas'd and strengthen'd the Clamour for more Money; and they
happening to have no Writers among them that were able to answer it,
their Opposition slacken'd, and the Point was carried by a Majority in
the House. My Friends there, who conceiv'd I had been of some Service,
thought fit to reward me, by employing me in printing the Money, a very
profitable Jobb, and a great Help to me.--This was another Advantage
gain'd by my being able to write[.] The Utility of this Currency became
by Time and Experience so evident, as never afterwards to be much
disputed, so that it grew soon to 55,000L and in 1739 to 80,000L since
which it arose during War to upwards of 350,000L. Trade, Building and
Inhabitants all the while increasing. Tho' I now think there are Limits
beyond which the Quantity may be hurtful.--

I soon after obtain'd, thro' my Friend Hamilton, the Printing of the New
Castle Paper Money, another profitable Jobb, as I then thought it; small
Things appearing great to those in small Circumstances. And these to me
were really great Advantages, as they were great Encouragements. He
procured me also the Printing of the Laws and Votes of that Government
which continu'd in my Hands as long as I follow'd the Business.--

I now open'd a little Stationer's Shop. I had in it Blanks of all
Sorts[,] the correctest that

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

Page 1
_ _He exhibits to our consideration, an invisible, subtile matter, disseminated through all nature in various proportions, equally unobserved, and, whilst all those bodies to which it peculiarly adheres are alike charged with it, inoffensive.
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Page 10
--We encrease the force of the electrical kiss vastly, thus: Let _A_ and _B_ stand on wax; give one of them the electrised phial in hand; let the other take hold of the wire; there will be a small spark; but when their lips approach, they will be struck and shock'd.
Page 13
Page 14
_ we may take away part of it from one of the sides, provided we throw an equal quantity into the other.
Page 16
Turn up the glass, and gild the fore side exactly over the back gilding, and when it is dry, cover it by pasting on the pannel of the picture that had been cut out, observing to bring the corresponding parts of the border and picture together, by which the picture will appear of a piece as at first, only part is behind the glass, and part before.
Page 20
allowing (for the reasons before given, s 8, 9, 10,) that there is no more electrical fire in a bottle after charging, than before, how great must be the quantity in this small portion of glass! It seems as if it were of its very substance and essence.
Page 23
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Page 25
If a country be plain, having no mountains to intercept the electrified clouds, yet is it not without means to make them deposite their water.
Page 26
When a great number of clouds from the sea meet a number of clouds raised from the land, the electrical flashes appear to strike in different parts; and as the clouds are jostled and mixed by the winds, or brought near by the electrical attraction, they continue to give and receive flash after flash, till the electrical fire is equally diffused.
Page 28
And when we can procure greater electrical sparks, we may be able to fire not only unwarm'd spirits, as lightning does, but even wood, by giving sufficient agitation to the common fire contained in it, as friction we know will do.
Page 31
For had this globe we live on as much of it in proportion, as we can give to a globe of iron, wood, or the like, the particles of dust and other light matters that get loose from it, would, by virtue of their separate electrical atmospheres, not only repel each other, but be repelled from the earth, and not easily be brought to unite with it again; whence our air would continually be more and more clogged with foreign matter, and grow unfit for respiration.
Page 33
Now if you would draw off this atmosphere with any blunt smooth body, and approach the middle of the side A, B, you must come very near before the force of your attracter exceeds the force or power with which that side holds its atmosphere.
Page 34
To understand this, we may consider, that if a person standing on the floor would draw off the electrical atmosphere from an electrified body, an iron crow and a blunt knitting kneedle held alternately in his hand and presented for that purpose, do not draw with different forces in proportion to their different masses.
Page 39
The circumstances of the breaking of the glass differ much in making the experiment, and sometimes it does not break at all: but this is constant, that the stains in the upper and under pieces are exact counterparts of each other.
Page 40
The corner that happens to be uppermost when the leaf is rising, being a sharp point, from the extream thinness of the gold, draws and receives at a distance a sufficient quantity of the electrical fluid to give itself an electrical atmosphere, by which its progress to the upper plate is stopt, and it begins to be repelled from that plate, and would be driven back to the under plate, but that its lowest corner is likewise a point, and throws off or discharges the overplus of the leaf's atmosphere, as fast as the upper corner draws it on.
Page 46
So if a tube lined with a [11]non-electric, be rubb'd, little or no fire is obtained from it.
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 53
[1] We suppose every particle of sand, moisture, or smoke, being first attracted and then repelled, carries off with it a portion of the electrical fire; but that the same still subsists in those particles, till they communicate it to something else; and that it is never really destroyed.