Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 10

_&c._ We suppose
it was _driven off_, and not brought on thro' that wire; and that the
machine and man, _&c._ were electrised _minus_; _i. e._ had less electrical
fire in them than things in common.

As the vessel is just upon sailing, I cannot give you so large an account
of American Electricity as I intended: I shall only mention a few
particulars more.--We find granulated lead better to fill the phial with,
than water, being easily warmed, and keeping warm and dry in damp air.--We
fire spirits with the wire of the phial.--We light candles, just blown out,
by drawing a spark among the smoke between the wire and snuffers.--We
represent lightning, by passing the wire in the dark over a china plate
that has gilt flowers, or applying it to gilt frames of looking-glasses,
_&c._--We electrise a person twenty or more times running, with a touch of
the finger on the wire, thus: He stands on wax. Give him the electrised
bottle in his hand. Touch the wire with your finger, and then touch his
hand or face; there are sparks every time.--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. The same if another gentleman and lady, _C_ and _D_,
standing also on wax, and joining hands with _A_ and _B_, salute, or shake
hands.--We suspend by fine silk thread a counterfeit spider, made of a
small piece of burnt cork, with legs of linnen thread, and a grain or two
of lead stuck in him to give him more weight. Upon the table, over which he
hangs, we stick a wire upright as high as the phial and wire, two or three
inches from the spider; then we animate him by setting the electrified
phial at the same distance on the other side of him; he will immediately
fly to the wire of the phial, bend his legs in touching it, then spring
off, and fly to the wire in the table; thence again to the wire of the
phial, playing with his legs against both in a very entertaining manner,
appearing perfectly alive to persons unacquainted. He will continue this
motion an hour or more in dry weather.--We electrify, upon wax in the dark,
a book that has a double line of gold round upon the covers, and then apply
a knuckle to the gilding;

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

Page 0
[Illustration: 'If you would have my advice, I will give it you in short; "for a word to the wise is enough.
Page 1
Virtue and Innocence, a Poem 1 0 The Economy of Human Life 1 0 Old Friends in a New Dress, or Selections from Esop's Fables, in Verse, 2 parts, plates 2 0 Little Jack Horner, in Verse, plain 1s.
Page 2
However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us; "God helps them that help themselves," as Poor Richard says.
Page 3
--"But, dost thou love life? then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of," as Poor Richard says.
Page 4
'But with our industry we must likewise be steady, settled, and careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to others: for, as Poor Richard says, "I never saw an oft-removed tree, Nor yet an oft-removed family, That throve so well as those that settled be.
Page 5
] 'Trusting too much to others' care is the ruin of many; for, "In the affairs of this world, men are saved, not by faith, but by the want of it:" but a man's own care is profitable; for, "If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like,--serve yourself.
Page 6
" And again, "At a great pennyworth pause a while:" he means, that perhaps the cheapness is apparent only, and not real; or the bargain, by straitening thee in thy business, may do thee more harm than good.
Page 7
"--What would you think of that prince, or of that government, who should issue an edict forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or servitude? Would you not say that you were free, have a right to dress as you please, and that such an edict would be a breach of your privileges, and such a government tyrannical? And.
Page 8
'This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom; but, after all, do not depend too much upon your own industry, and frugality, and prudence, though excellent things; for they may all be blasted without the blessing of Heaven; and therefore, ask that blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them.
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