Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 0

Transcriber's note: Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).
In view of the difficulty of reliably distinguishing 18th-century variant
spellings from typographical errors, the text has been reproduced entirely
as printed.

* * * * *







_Philadelphia_ in _America_,




Communicated in several Letters to Mr. P. COLLINSON,
of _London_, F. R. S.

* * * * * *


Printed and sold by E. CAVE, at _St. John's Gate_. 1751.
(_Price 2s. 6d._)


_It may be necessary to acquaint the reader, that the following
observations and experiments were not drawn up with a view to their being
made publick, but were communicated at different times, and most of them in
letters wrote on various topicks, as matters only of private amusement._

_But some persons to whom they were read, and who had themselves been
conversant in electrical disquisitions, were of opinion, they contain'd so
many curious and interesting particulars relative to this affair, that it
would be doing a kind of injustice to the publick, to confine them solely
to the limits of a private acquaintance._

_The Editor was therefore prevailed upon to commit such extracts of
letters, and other detach'd pieces as were in his hands to the press,
without waiting for the ingenious author's permission so to do; and this
was done with the less hesitation, as it was apprehended the author's
engagements in other affairs, would scarce afford him leisure to give the
publick his reflections and experiments on the subject, finish'd with that
care and precision, of which the treatise before us shews he is alike
studious and capable. He was only apprized of the step that had been thus
taken, while the first sheets were in the press, and time enough for him to
transmit some farther remarks, together with a few corrections and
additions, which are placed at the end, and may be consulted in the

_The experiments which our author relates are most of them peculiar to
himself; they are conducted with judgment, and the inferences from them
plain and conclusive; though sometimes proposed under the terms of
suppositions and conjectures._

_And indeed the scene he opens, strikes us with a pleasing astonishment,
whilst he conducts us by a train of facts and judicious

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