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 198

&c., with staples of iron.
The lightning will not leave the rod (a good conductor) through those
staples. It would rather, if any were in the walls, pass out of it into
the rod, to get more readily by that conductor into the earth.

If the building be very large and extensive, two or more rods may be
placed at different parts, for greater security.

Small ragged parts of clouds, suspended in the air between the great
body of clouds and the earth (like leaf gold in electrical experiments)
often serve as partial conductors for the lightning, which proceeds from
one of them to another, and by their help comes within the striking
distance to the earth or a building. It therefore strikes through those
conductors a building that would otherwise be out of the striking
distance.

Long sharp points communicating with the earth, and presented to such
parts of clouds, drawing silently from them the fluid they are charged
with, they are then attracted to the cloud, and may leave the distance
so great as to be beyond the reach of striking.

It is therefore that we elevate the upper end of the rod six or eight
feet above the highest part of the building, tapering it gradually to a
fine sharp point, which is gilt to prevent its rusting.

Thus the pointed rod either prevents the stroke from the cloud, or, if a
stroke is made, conducts it to the earth with safety to the building.

The lower end of the rod should enter the earth so deep as to come at
the moist part, perhaps two or three feet; and if bent when under the
surface so as to go in a horizontal line six or eight feet from the
wall, and then bent again downward three or four feet, it will prevent
damage to any of the stones of the foundation.

A person apprehensive of danger from lightning, happening during the
time of thunder to be in a house not so secured, will do well to avoid
sitting near the chimney, near a looking-glass, or any gilt pictures or
wainscot; the safest place is the middle of the room (so it be not under
a metal lustre suspended by a chain), sitting on one chair and laying
the feet up in another. It is still safer to bring two or three
mattresses or beds into the middle of the room, and, folding them up
double, place the chair upon them; for they not being so good conductors
as the walls, the lightning will not choose an interrupted course
through the air of

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 0
_Just Published_, A GRAMMATICAL CATECHISM for the use of Schools, upon the plan of Lindley Murray.
Page 1
coloured 1 6 Portraits of Curious Characters in London, &c.
Page 2
We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement.
Page 3
[Illustration: The Sun shone yesterday, and I would not work, to-day it rains and I cannot work.
Page 4
" [Illustration] 'Methinks I hear some of you say, "Must a man afford himself no leisure?" I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says, "Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.
Page 5
1, 1805.
Page 6
got together to this sale of fineries and nick-nacks.
Page 7
'But what madness it must be to run in debt for these superfluities? We are offered, by the terms of this sale, six months credit; and that, perhaps, has induced some of us to attend it, because we cannot spare the ready money, and hope now to be fine without it.
Page 8
Those have a short Lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter.
Page 9
--I found the good man had thoroughly studied my Almanacks, and digested all I had dropt on those topics during the course of twenty-five years.