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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 137

is not
the worse. With thin paste, or gum-water, fix the border that is cut
off on the inside the glass, pressing it smooth and close; then fill
up the vacancy by gilding the glass well with leaf-gold, or brass.
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. Turn up the glass, and gild the fore side exactly
over the back gilding, and when it is dry, cover it, by pasting on
the pannel of the picture that hath been cut out, observing to bring
the correspondent parts of the border and picture together, by which
the picture will appear of a piece, as at first, only part is behind
the glass, and part before. Hold the picture horizontally by the
top, and place a little moveable gilt crown on the king's head. If
now the picture be moderately electrified, and another person take
hold of the frame with one hand, so that his fingers touch its inside
gilding, and with the other hand endeavour to take off the crown, he
will receive a terrible blow, and fail in the attempt. If the picture
were highly charged, the consequence might perhaps be as fatal[37] as
that of high treason, for when the spark is taken through a quire of
paper laid on the picture by means of a wire communication, it makes
a fair hole through every sheet, that is, through forty-eight leaves,
though a quire of paper is thought good armour against the push of
a sword, or even against a pistol bullet, and the crack is exceeding
loud. The operator, who holds the picture by the upper end, where
the inside of the frame is not gilt, to prevent its falling, feels
nothing of the shock, and may touch the face of the picture without
danger, which he pretends is a test of his loyalty.--If a ring of
persons take the shock among them, the experiment is called, _The

21. On the principle, in _Sec. 7_, that hooks of bottles, differently
charged, will attract and repel differently, is made an electrical
wheel, that turns with considerable strength. A small upright shaft
of wood passes at right angles through a thin round board, of about
twelve inches diameter, and turns on a sharp point of iron, fixed
in the lower end, while a strong wire in the upper end, passing
through a small hole in a thin brass plate, keeps the shaft

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 1
_ _But of these, and many other interesting circumstances, the reader will be more satisfactorily informed in the following letters, to which he is therefore referred by_ _The_ EDITOR.
Page 7
Points of wood will do as well as those of iron, provided the wood is not dry; for perfectly dry wood will no more conduct Electricity than sealing wax.
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 9
Thus you may circulate it, as Mr _Watson_ has shewn; you may also accumulate or substract it upon or from any body, as you connect that body with the rubber or with the receiver, the communication with the common stock being cut off.
Page 10
Upon the table, over which he hangs, we stick a wire upright as high as the phial and wire, two or three inches from the spider; then we animate him by setting the electrified phial at the same distance on the other side of him; he will immediately fly to the wire of the phial, bend his legs in touching it, then spring off, and fly to the wire in the table; thence again to the wire of the phial, playing with his legs against both in a very entertaining manner, appearing perfectly alive to persons unacquainted.
Page 13
By this means a great number of bottles might be charged with the same labour, and equally high, with one alone, were it not that every bottle receives new fire, and loses its old with some reluctance, or rather gives some small resistance to the charging, which in a number of bottles becomes more equal to the charging power, and so repels the fire back again on the globe, sooner than a single bottle would do.
Page 25
Dexterously electrify one set, and its balls will repel each other to a greater distance, enlarging the triangles.
Page 28
Hence a wet rat cannot be killed by the exploding electrical bottle, when a dry rat may.
Page 29
Page 30
'Tis supposed, that all kinds of common matter do not attract and retain the electrical, with equal strength and force; for reasons to be given hereafter.
Page 31
Page 32
Page 33
So the portion of atmosphere included in H, A, B, I, has the line A, B, for its basis.
Page 40
When the upper plate is electrified, the leaf is attracted and raised towards it, and would fly to that plate were it not for its own points.
Page 41
Turn its tail towards the prime conductor, and then it flies to your finger, and seems to nibble it.
Page 42
It is this: place the bottle on a glass stand, under the prime conductor; suspend a bullet by a chain from the prime conductor, till it comes within a quarter of an inch right over the wire of the bottle; place your knuckle on the glass stand, at just the same distance from the coating of the bottle, as the bullet is from its wire.
Page 43
I feel a want of terms here, and doubt much whether I shall be able to make this part intelligible.
Page 46
[12] If the tube be exhausted of air, a non electric lining in contact with the wire is not necessary; for _in vacuo_, the electrical fire will fly freely from the inner surface, without a non-electric conductor: but air resists its motion; for being itself an electric _per se_, it does not attract it, having already its quantity.
Page 48
I placed a glass plate under my cushion, to cut off the communication between the cushion and floor; then brought a small chain from the cushion into a glass of oil of turpentine, and carried another chain from the oil of turpentine to the floor, taking care that the chain from the cushion to the glass touch'd no part of the frame of the machine.
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.