Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 12

hook of the other; then there will be an
explosion and shock, and both bottles will be discharged.

6. 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. Set that down on glass which you held by the hook, take
it up by the coating, and bring the two hooks together: a spark and shock
will follow, and both phials be discharged.

In this experiment the bottles are totally discharged, or the equilibrium
within them restored. The _abounding_ of fire in one of the hooks (or
rather in the internal surface of one bottle) being exactly equal to the
_wanting_ of the other: and therefore, as each bottle has in itself the
_abounding_ as well as the _wanting_, the wanting and abounding must be
equal in each bottle. See s. 8, 9, 10, 11. But if a man holds in his hands
two bottles, one fully electrify'd, the other not at all, and brings their
hooks together, he has but half a shock, and the bottles will both remain
half electrified, the one being half discharged, and the other half

7. Place two phials equally charged on a table at five or six inches
distance. Let a cork-ball, suspended by a silk thread, hang between them.
If the phials were both charged through their hooks, the cork, when it has
been attracted and repell'd by the one, will not be attracted, but equally
repelled by the other. But if the phials were charged, the one through the
hook, and the other[3] through the coating, the ball, when it is repelled
from one hook, will be as strongly attracted by the other, and play
vigorously between them, 'till both phials are nearly discharged.

8. When we use the terms of _charging_ and _discharging_ the phial, 'tis in
compliance with custom, and for want of others more suitable. Since we are
of opinion, that there is really no more electrical fire in the phial after
what is called its _charging_, than before, nor less after its
_discharging_; excepting only the small spark that might be given to, and
taken from, the non-electric matter, if separated from the bottle, which
spark may not be equal to a five hundredth part of what is called the

For if, on the explosion, the electrical fire came out of

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