The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 98

of forming a
company for the more ready extinguishing of fires, and mutual
assistance in removing and securing the goods when in danger.
Associates in this scheme were presently found, amounting to thirty.
Our articles of agreement oblig'd every member to keep always in good
order, and fit for use, a certain number of leather buckets, with
strong bags and baskets (for packing and transporting of goods), which
were to be brought to every fire; and we agreed to meet once a month
and spend a social evening together, in discoursing and communicating
such ideas as occurred to us upon the subject of fires, as might be
useful in our conduct on such occasions.

The utility of this institution soon appeared, and many more desiring
to be admitted than we thought convenient for one company, they were
advised to form another, which was accordingly done; and this went on,
one new company being formed after another, till they became so
numerous as to include most of the inhabitants who were men of
property; and now, at the time of my writing this, tho' upward of fifty
years since its establishment, that which I first formed, called the
Union Fire Company, still subsists and flourishes, tho' the first
members are all deceas'd but myself and one, who is older by a year
than I am. The small fines that have been paid by members for absence
at the monthly meetings have been apply'd to the purchase of
fire-engines, ladders, fire-hooks, and other useful implements for each
company, so that I question whether there is a city in the world better
provided with the means of putting a stop to beginning conflagrations;
and, in fact, since these institutions, the city has never lost by fire
more than one or two houses at a time, and the flames have often been
extinguished before the house in which they began has been half
consumed.

In 1739 arrived among us from Ireland the Reverend Mr. Whitefield, who
had made himself remarkable there as an itinerant preacher. He was at
first permitted to preach in some of our churches; but the clergy,
taking a dislike to him, soon refus'd him their pulpits, and he was
oblig'd to preach in the fields. The multitudes of all sects and
denominations that attended his sermons were enormous, and it was
matter of speculation to me, who was one of the number, to observe the
extraordinary influence of his oratory on his hearers, and how much
they admir'd and respected him, notwithstanding his common abuse of
them, by assuring them that they were naturally half

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 7
256 Description of a new stove for burning of pitcoal, and consuming all its smoke 296 Method of contracting chimneys.
Page 38
But spouts have been known, when the lower region has been really cold.
Page 42
and, therefore, ascend; for the rarefied air inclosed, may more fall short of the same bulk of common air, in weight, than the watery coat exceeds a like bulk of common air in gravity.
Page 98
Priestley's Experiments on Air, Vol.
Page 128
For the upper sails have greater power to lay a vessel more on her side, which is not the most advantageous position for going swiftly through the water.
Page 150
| | --|10 dit.
Page 160
| W.
Page 167
J.
Page 202
It should therefore be avoided, according to the advice of the ancient proverb, as carefully as the point of an arrow.
Page 206
1.
Page 211
into the chimney, sufficient to fill the opening, being necessary to oppose and prevent the smoke coming out into the room; it follows, that the openings of the longest funnels may be larger, and that those of the shorter funnels should be smaller.
Page 212
Where coals are the fuel, the grates will be proportioned to the openings.
Page 225
It is this.
Page 291
got by heart a short table of the principal epochs in chronology.
Page 300
As I perfectly concurred with you in your sentiments on these heads, I have been very desirous of building somewhat on the foundation you have there laid; and was induced, by your hints in the twenty-first section, to trouble you with some thoughts on the influence manners have always had, and are always likely to have, on the numbers of a people, and their political prosperity in general.
Page 305
Commerce perfects the arts, but more the mechanical than the liberal, and this for an obvious reason; it softens and enervates the manners.
Page 340
with his lordship's own words.
Page 370
better conducted by some substances than others, ii.
Page 383
different opinion respecting it expressed, 375.
Page 384
do not give colds, ibid.