The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 126

Mr. Hopkinson's experiment, made with an expectation
of drawing a more sharp and powerful spark from the point, as from a
kind of focus, and he was surprised to find little or none.

[19] We suppose every particle of sand, moisture, or smoke, being
first attracted and then repelled, carries off with it a portion
of the electrical fire; but that the same still subsists in those
particles, till they communicate it to something else, and that it is
never really destroyed. So when water is thrown on common fire, we do
not imagine the element is thereby destroyed or annihilated, but only
dispersed, each particle of water carrying off in vapour its portion
of the fire, which it had attracted and attached to itself.

[20] This different effect probably did not arise from any difference
in the light, but rather from the particles separated from the
candle, being first attracted and then repelled, carrying off the
electric matter with them; and from the rarefying the air, between
the glowing coal or red-hot iron, and the electrised shot, through
which rarefied air the electric fluid could more readily pass.

[21] These experiments with the wheels, were made and communicated
to me by my worthy and ingenious friend Mr. Philip Syng; but we
afterwards discovered that the motion of those wheels was not owing
to any afflux or efflux of the electric fluid, but to various
circumstances of attraction and repulsion. 1750.

[22] By taking a spark from the wire, the electricity within the
bottle is diminished; the outside of the bottle then draws some from
the person holding it, and leaves him in the negative state. Then
when his hand or face is touched, an equal quantity is restored to
him from the person touching.

[23] Our tubes are made here of green glass, 27 or 30 inches long, as
big as can be grasped.

[24] This simple easily-made machine was a contrivance of Mr. Syng's.


_Observations on the Leyden Bottle, with Experiments proving the
different electrical State of its different Surfaces._

_Philadelphia, Sept. 1, 1747._


The necessary trouble of copying long letters, which, perhaps, when
they come to your hands, may contain nothing new, or worth your
reading, (so quick is the progress made with you in electricity) half
discourages me from writing any more on that subject. Yet I cannot
forbear adding a few observations on M. Muschenbroek's wonderful

1. The non-electric contained in the bottle differs, when electrised,
from a non-electric electrised out of the bottle, in this: that the
electrical fire

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 0
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] "If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be" as Poor Richard says, "the greatest prodigality;" since, as he elsewhere tells us, "Lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough, always proves little enough.
Page 4
" 'And again, "The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands:" and again, "Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge;" and again, "Not to oversee workmen, is to leave them your purse open.
Page 5
] 'Trusting too much to others' care is the ruin of many; for, "In the affairs of this world, men are saved, not by faith, but by the want of it:" but a man's own care is profitable; for, "If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like,--serve yourself.
Page 6
Remember what poor Richard says, "Buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessaries.
Page 7
consult, consult your purse.
Page 8
And when you have got the Philosopher's stone, sure you will no longer complain of bad times, or the difficulty of paying taxes.
Page 9
The opening single quotes end pages later.