The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 62

currency became by time and experience so evident
as never afterwards to be much disputed; so that it grew soon to
fifty-five thousand pounds, and in 1739 to eighty thousand pounds,
since which it arose during war to upwards of three hundred and fifty
thousand pounds, trade, building, and inhabitants all the while
increasing, till I now think there are limits beyond which the quantity
may be hurtful.

I soon after obtain'd, thro' my friend Hamilton, the printing of the
Newcastle paper money, another profitable jobb as I then thought it;
small things appearing great to those in small circumstances; and
these, to me, were really great advantages, as they were great
encouragements. He procured for me, also, the printing of the laws and
votes of that government, which continu'd in my hands as long as I
follow'd the business.

I now open'd a little stationer's shop. I had in it blanks of all
sorts, the correctest that ever appear'd among us, being assisted in
that by my friend Breintnal. I had also paper, parchment, chapmen's
books, etc. One Whitemash, a compositor I had known in London, an
excellent workman, now came to me, and work'd with me constantly and
diligently; and I took an apprentice, the son of Aquila Rose.

I began now gradually to pay off the debt I was under for the
printing-house. In order to secure my credit and character as a
tradesman, I took care not only to be in reality industrious and
frugal, but to avoid all appearances to the contrary. I drest plainly;
I was seen at no places of idle diversion. I never went out a fishing
or shooting; a book, indeed, sometimes debauch'd me from my work, but
that was seldom, snug, and gave no scandal; and, to show that I was not
above my business, I sometimes brought home the paper I purchas'd at
the stores thro' the streets on a wheelbarrow. Thus being esteem'd an
industrious, thriving young man, and paying duly for what I bought, the
merchants who imported stationery solicited my custom; others proposed
supplying me with books, and I went on swimmingly. In the mean time,
Keimer's credit and business declining daily, he was at last forc'd to
sell his printing house to satisfy his creditors. He went to
Barbadoes, and there lived some years in very poor circumstances.

His apprentice, David Harry, whom I had instructed while I work'd with
him, set up in his place at Philadelphia, having bought his materials.
I was at first apprehensive of a powerful rival in Harry,

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 1
_July 28, 1747_.
Page 2
After the second, the upper part will have 22, the lower 18, and so on 'till after 20 strokes, the upper part will have a quantity of electrical fire equal to 40, the lower part none: and then the operation ends: for no more can be thrown into the upper part, when no more can be driven out of the lower part.
Page 6
The first is the wonderful effect of pointed bodies, both in _drawing off_ and _throwing off_ the electrical fire.
Page 7
The repellency between the cork-ball and the shot is likewise destroy'd; 1.
Page 8
A person standing on wax, and rubbing the tube, and another person on wax drawing the fire; they will both of them, (provided they do not stand so as to touch one another) appear to be electrised, to a person standing on the floor; that is, he will perceive a spark on approaching each of them with his knuckle.
Page 15
--Which demonstrated the power to reside in glass as glass, and that the non-electrics in contact served only, like the armature of a loadstone, to unite the force of the several parts, and bring them at once to any point desired: it being a property of a non-electric, that the whole body instantly receives or gives what electrical fire is given to or taken from any one of its parts.
Page 17
On the end of every one, a brass thimble is fixed.
Page 20
--Even a thoroughly wet pack-thread sometimes fails of conducting a shock, tho' it otherwise conducts electricity very well.
Page 23
fire gives repulsion to the particles of water, and destroys their attraction of cohesion; hence common fire, as well as electrical fire, assists in raising vapours.
Page 25
33.
Page 33
But there is a small portion between I, B, K, that has less of the surface to rest on, and to be attracted by, than the neighbouring portions, while at the same time there is a mutual repulsion between its particles and the particles of those portions, therefore here you can get it with more ease or at a greater distance.
Page 37
9.
Page 39
Perhaps this may be the reason; when there is not a perfect continuity in the circle, the.
Page 43
31.
Page 45
--Glass, a body extremely elastic (and perhaps its elasticity may be owing in some degree to the subsisting of so great a quantity of this repelling fluid in its pores) must, when rubbed, have its rubbed surface somewhat stretched, or its solid parts drawn a little farther asunder, so that the vacancies in which the electrical fluid resides, become larger, affording room for more of that fluid, which is immediately attracted into it from the cushion or hand rubbing, they being supply'd from the common stock.
Page 47
35.
Page 48
impossibility of success, in the experiments propos'd, to draw out the effluvial virtues of a non-electric, as cinnamon for instance, and mixing them with the electrical fluid, to convey them with that into the body, by including it in the globe, and then applying friction, etc.
Page 49
I have also smelt the electrical fire when drawn through gold, silver, copper, lead, iron, wood, and the human body, and could perceive no difference; the odour is always the same where the spark does not burn what it strikes; and therefore I imagine it does not take that smell from any quality of the bodies it passes through.
Page 50
Hang a phial then on the prime conductor, and it will not charge, tho' you hold it by the coating.
Page 53
Electricity is so much in vogue, that above one hundred of them have been sold within these four months past.