Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 101

afford a good deal of philosophic and practical
knowledge, unembarassed with the dry mathematics used by more exact
reasoners, but which is apt to discourage young beginners.

"I would advise you to read with a pen in your hand, and enter in a
little book short hints of what you find that is curious or that may be
useful; for this will be the best method of imprinting such particulars
in your memory, where they will be ready either for practice on some
future occasion if they are matters of utility, or at least to adorn and
improve your conversation if they are rather points of curiosity. And as
many of the terms of science are such as you cannot have met with in
your common reading, and may, therefore, be unacquainted with, I think
it would be well for you to have a good dictionary at hand, to consult
immediately when you meet with a word you do not comprehend the precise
meaning of. This may at first seem troublesome and interrupting; but it
is a trouble that will daily diminish, as you will daily find less and
less occasion for your dictionary, as you become more acquainted with
the terms; and in the mean time you will read with more satisfaction,
because with more understanding. When any point occurs in which you
would be glad to have farther information than your book affords you, I
beg you would not in the least apprehend that I should think it a
trouble to receive and answer your questions. It will be a pleasure, and
no trouble. For though I may not be able, out of my own little stock of
knowledge, to afford you what you require, I can easily direct you to
the books where it may most readily be found.

"Adieu, and believe me ever, my dear friend,


* * * * *

"_Lord Kames._

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Text Comparison with Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

Page 2
At the same time that the wire and top of the bottle, &c.
Page 3
Place an electrised phial on wax; a small cork-ball suspended by a dry silk-thread held in your hand, and brought near to the wire, will first be attracted, and then repelled: when in this state of repellency, sink your hand, that the ball may be brought towards the bottom of the bottle; it will there be instantly and strongly attracted, 'till it has parted with its fire.
Page 5
Give him the electrified phial to hold; and do you touch the wire; as often you touch it he will be electrified _minus_, and may draw a spark from any one standing on the floor.
Page 6
Take a book whose cover is filletted with gold; bend a wire of eight or ten inches long in the form of (_m_) FIG.
Page 16
Gild likewise the inner edge of the back of the frame all round except the top part, and form a communication between that gilding and the gilding behind the glass: then put in the board, and that side is finished.
Page 18
In a circle on the table which supports the wheel, are fixed twelve small pillars of glass, at about four inches distance, with a thimble on the top of each.
Page 21
Electrical fire loves water, is strongly attracted by it, and they can subsist together.
Page 22
Page 24
But clouds formed by vapours raised from the sea, having both fires, and particularly a great quantity of the electrical, support their water strongly, raise it high, and being moved by winds may bring it over the middle of the broadest continent from the middle of the widest ocean.
Page 32
being already full.
Page 33
Between F, A, H, there is a larger portion that has yet a less surface to rest on and to attract it; here therefore you can get it away still more easily.
Page 34
And as in plucking the hairs from the horse's tail, a degree of strength insufficient to pull away a handful at once, could yet easily strip it hair by hair; so a blunt body presented cannot draw off a number of particles at once, but a pointed one, with no greater force, takes them away easily, particle by particle.
Page 36
Nay, even if the needle be placed upon the floor near the punch, its point upwards, the end of the punch, tho' so much higher than the needle, will not attract the scale and receive its fire, for the needle will get it and convey it away, before it comes nigh enough for the punch to act.
Page 39
We have since found, that one strong shock breaks the continuity of the gold in the filleting, and makes it look rather like dust of gold, abundance of its parts being broken and driven off; and it will seldom conduct above one strong shock.
Page 44
When the glass has received and, by its attraction, forced closer together so much of this electrified fluid, as that the power of attracting and condensing in the one, is equal to the power of expansion in the other, it can imbibe no more, and that remains its constant whole quantity; but each surface would receive more, if the repellency of what is in the opposite surface did not resist its entrance.
Page 49
I shall only add, that as it has been observed here that spirits will fire by the electrical spark in the summer time, without heating them, when _Fahrenheit_'s thermometer is above 70; so, when colder, if the operator puts a small flat bottle of spirits in his bosom, or a close pocket, with the spoon, some little time before he uses them, the heat of his body will communicate warmth more than sufficient for the purpose.
Page 50
Hang two cork balls by flaxen threads to the prime conductor; then touch the coating of the bottle, and they will be electrified and recede from each other.
Page 52
of studying it; with its Analysis or Division into Species, according to former Authors, and a new Plan, shewing the Errors and Defects of those by Varenius, Sanson, la Mattiniere, Pere Castel, etc.
Page 53
By G.
Page 54
In the fore crescent the fire is passing out of the cushion into the glass; in the other it is leaving the glass, and returning into the back part of the cushion.