Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 21

quantity, so will the cork be repelled again: And so may the
experiment be repeated as long as there is any charge in the bottles. Which
shews that bodies having less than the common quantity of Electricity,
repel each other, as well as those that have more.

Chagrined a little that we have hitherto been able to produce nothing in
this way of use to mankind; and the hot weather coming on, when electrical
experiments are not so agreeable, 'tis proposed to put an end to them for
this season, somewhat humorously, in a party of pleasure, on the banks of
_Skuylkill_.[4] Spirits, at the same time, are to be fired by a spark sent
from side to side through the river, without any other conductor than the
water; an experiment which we some time since performed, to the amazement
of many. A turkey is to be killed for our dinner by the _electrical shock_,
and roasted by the _electrical jack_, before a fire kindled by the
_electrified bottle_; when the healths of all the famous electricians in
_England_, _Holland_, _France_, and _Germany_, are to be drank in
[5]_electrified bumpers_, under the discharge of guns from the _electrical

_April 29,




OBSERVATIONS _and_ SUPPOSITIONS, _towards forming a new_ HYPOTHESIS, _for
explaining the several_ Phaenomena _of_ THUNDER-GUSTS.[6]


s. 1. Non-electric bodies, that have electric fire thrown into them, will
retain it 'till other non-electrics, that have less, approach; and then
'tis communicated by a snap, and becomes equally divided.

2. Electrical fire loves water, is strongly attracted by it, and they can
subsist together.

3. Air is an electric _per se_, and when dry will not conduct the
electrical fire; it will neither receive it, nor give it to other bodies;
otherwise no body surrounded by air could be electrified positively and
negatively: for should it be attempted positively, the air would
immediately take away the overplus; or negatively, the air would supply
what was wanting.

4. Water being electrified, the vapours arising from it will be equally
electrified; and floating in the air, in the form of clouds, or otherwise,
will retain that quantity of electrical fire, till they meet with other
clouds or bodies not so much electrified, and then will communicate as

5. Every particle of matter electrified is repelled by every other particle
equally electrified. Thus the stream of a fountain, naturally dense and
continual, when electrified, will separate and spread in the form of a
brush, every drop endeavouring to recede from every other drop. But on
taking out the electrical fire, they close again.

6. Water

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 0
Hence it is, that Poor Richard is so often quoted, and that, in the present title, he is said to be improved.
Page 1
coloured 1 6 Portraits of Curious Characters in London, &c.
Page 2
'It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time to be employed in its service: but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing.
Page 3
"He that hath a trade, hath an estate; and he that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honour," as Poor Richard says; but then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes.
Page 4
The diligent spinner has a large shift; and now I have a sheep and a cow, every body bids me good-morrow.
Page 5
Page 6
" Again, "It is foolish to lay out money in a purchase of repentance;" and yet this folly is practised every day at auctions, for want of minding the Almanack.
Page 7
But, ah! think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty, If you cannot pay at the time, you will be ashamed to see your creditor; you will be in fear when you speak to him; you will make poor pitiful sneaking excuses, and, by degrees, come to lose your veracity, and sink into base, downright lying; for, "The second vice is lying, the first is running in debt," as Poor Richard says; and again, to the same purpose, "Lying rides upon Debt's back:" whereas a free-born Englishman ought not to be ashamed nor afraid to see or speak to any man living.
Page 8
" However, remember this, "They that will not be counselled cannot be helped;" and farther, that "If you will not hear Reason, she will surely rap your knuckles," as Poor.
Page 9
and T.