Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 119

houses clean, so much dirt not being brought in by people's feet;
the benefit to the shops by more custom, etc., as buyers could more
easily get at them, and by not having, in windy weather, the dust
blown in upon their goods, etc. I sent one of these papers to each
house, and in a day or two went round to see who would subscribe an
agreement to pay these sixpences. It was unanimously signed, and for a
time well executed. All the inhabitants of the city were delighted
with the cleanliness of the pavement that surrounded the market, it
being a convenience to all; and this raised a general desire to have
all the streets paved, and made the people more willing to submit to a
tax for that purpose.

After some time I drew a bill for paving the city, and brought it into
the Assembly. It was just before I went to England in 1757, and did not
pass till I was gone, and then with an alteration in the mode of
assessment which I thought not for the better, but with an additional
provision for lighting as well as paving the streets, which was a great
improvement. It was by a private person, the late Mr. John Clifton,--his
giving a sample of the utility of lamps by placing one at his
door,--that the people were first impressed with the idea of enlighting
all the city. The honor of this public benefit has also been ascribed to
me, but it belongs truly to that gentleman. I did but follow his
example, and have only some merit to claim respecting the form of our
lamps, as differing from the globe lamps we were at first supplied with
from London. Those we found inconvenient in these respects: they
admitted no air below; the smoke, therefore, did not readily go out
above, but circulated in the globe, lodged on its inside, and soon
obstructed the light they were intended to afford, giving, besides, the
daily trouble of wiping them clean; and an accidental stroke on one of
them would demolish it and render it totally useless. I therefore
suggested the composing them of four flat panes, with a long funnel
above to draw up the smoke, and crevices admitting air below to
facilitate the ascent of the smoke. By this means they were kept clean,
and did not grow dark in a few hours, as the London lamps do, but
continued bright till morning, and an accidental stroke would generally
break but a single pane, easily repaired.

I have sometimes wondered that the Londoners

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

Page 15
The earth, turning on its axis in about twenty-four hours, the equatorial parts must move about fifteen miles in each minute; in northern and southern latitudes this motion is gradually less to the poles, and there nothing.
Page 57
Page 74
For there is no rank in natural knowledge of equal dignity and importance with that of being a good parent, a good child, a good husband, or wife, a good neighbour or friend, a good subject or citizen, that is, in short, a good christian.
Page 111
Being about to show him the smoothing experiment on a little pond near his house, an ingenious pupil of his, Mr.
Page 123
Suspend also the whole card by threads from its four corners, and hang to it an equal weight, so as to draw it downwards when let fall, its whole breadth pressing against the air.
Page 142
At least the first vessel ever made to go on the water was certainly such.
Page 168
Then plunge under it with your eyes open, throwing yourself towards the egg, and endeavouring by the action of your hands and feet against the water to get forward till within reach of it.
Page 184
But the first expence, which was very great, the intricacy of the design, and the difficulty of the execution, especially in old chimneys, discouraged the propagation of the invention; so that there are, I suppose, very few such chimneys now in use.
Page 222
I made a temporary contraction of the opening of the chimney, and found that it was not its being too large that caused the smoke to issue.
Page 224
Page 245
Put into the hands of a man for the first time a gimblet or a hammer (very simple instruments) and tell him the use of them, he shall neither bore a hole or drive a nail with the dexterity and success of another who has been accustomed to handle them.
Page 252
_ SIR, According to your.
Page 261
Whether the great difference we experience in hearing sounds at a distance, when the wind blows towards us from the sonorous body, or towards that from us, can be well accounted for by adding to or subtracting from the swiftness of sound, the degree of swiftness that is in the wind at the time? The latter is so small in proportion, that it seems as if it could scarce produce any sensible effect, and yet the difference is very great.
Page 267
_Unintelligibleness_; the result of the three foregoing united.
Page 270
This use of the word _improve_ is peculiar to New England, and not to be met with among any other speakers of English, either on this or the other side of the water.
Page 298
If there be a sect, therefore, in our nation, that regard frugality and industry as religious duties, and educate their children therein, more than others commonly do, such sect must consequently increase more by natural generation than any other sect in Britain.
Page 306
To conclude: when we would form a people, soil and climate may be found at least sufficiently good; inhabitants may be encouraged to settle, and even supported for a while; a good government and laws may be framed, and even arts may be established, or their produce imported: but many necessary moral habits are hardly ever found among those who voluntary offer themselves in times of quiet at home, to people new colonies; besides that the moral, as well as mechanical habits adapted to a mother country are frequently not so to the new settled one, and to external events, many of which are always unforeseen.
Page 329
Page 330
"--The conclusion here, from the _whole to a part_, does not seem to be good logic.
Page 373
its advantages, 427, 428.