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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 141

was electrified the other
hardly shewed any signs of its being in connection with it[39]. Even
a thoroughly wet packthread sometimes fails of conducting a shock,
though it otherwise conducts electricity very well. A dry cake of
ice, or an icicle held between two in a circle, likewise prevents the
shock, which one would not expect, as water conducts it so perfectly
well.--Gilding on a new book, though at first it conducts the shock
extremely well, yet fails after ten or a dozen experiments, though it
appears otherwise in all respects the same, which we cannot account

28. There is one experiment more which surprises us, and is not
hitherto satisfactorily accounted for; it is this: Place an iron
shot on a glass stand, and let a ball of damp cork, suspended by a
silk thread, hang in contact with the shot. Take a bottle in each
hand, one that is electrified through the hook, the other through
the coating: Apply the giving wire to the shot, which will electrify
it _positively_, and the cork shall be repelled: then apply the
requiring wire, which will take out the spark given by the other;
when the cork will return to the shot: Apply the same again, and take
out another spark, so will the shot be electrified _negatively_,
and the cork in that case shall be repelled equally as before. Then
apply the giving wire to the shot, and give the spark it wanted, so
will the cork return: Give it another, which will be an addition to
its natural quantity, so will the cork be repelled again: And so
may the experiment be repeated as long as there is any charge in
the bottles. Which shews that bodies, having less than the common
quantity of electricity, repel each other, as well as those that have

Chagrined a little that we have been hitherto able to produce nothing
in this way of use to mankind; and the hot weather coming on, when
electrical experiments are not so agreeable, it is proposed to put
an end to them for this season, somewhat humorously, in a party of
pleasure, on the banks of _Skuylkil_[41]. Spirits, at the same time,
are to be fired by a spark sent from side to side through the river,
without any other conductor than the water; an experiment which we
some time since performed, to the amazement of many[42].

A turkey is to be killed for our dinner by the _electrical shock_,
and roasted by the _electrical jack_, before a fire kindled by
the _electrified bottle_: when the healths of all the famous
electricians in

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

Page 1
_ _It has, indeed, been of late the fashion to ascribe every grand or unusual operation of nature, such as lightening and earthquakes, to electricity; not, as one would imagine, from the manner of reasoning on these occasions, that the authors of these schemes have, discovered any connection betwixt the cause and effect, or saw in what manner they were related; but, as it would seem, merely because they were unacquainted with any other agent, of which it could not positively be said the connection was impossible.
Page 2
The equilibrium cannot be restored in the bottle by _inward_ communication or contact of the parts; but it must be done by a communication formed _without_ the bottle, between the top and bottom, by some non-electric, touching both at the same time; in which case it is restored with a violence and quickness inexpressible: or, touching each alternately, in which case the equilibrium is restored by degrees.
Page 10
--We find granulated lead better to fill the phial with, than water, being easily warmed, and keeping warm and dry in damp air.
Page 11
'Tis true, the sphere does not turn so swift, as when the great wheel is used: but swiftness we think of little importance, since a few turns will charge the phial, _&c.
Page 13
But suspend two or more phials on the prime conductor, one hanging to the tail of the other; and a wire from the last to the floor, an equal number of turns of the wheel shall charge them all equally, and every one as much as one alone would have been.
Page 14
We judged then, that it must either be lost in decanting, or.
Page 18
Two small hemispheres of wood are then fixed with cement to the middle of the upper and under sides, centrally opposite, and in each of them a thick strong wire eight or ten inches long, which together make the axis of the wheel.
Page 19
A small wire bent circularly with a loop at each end; let one end rest against the under surface of the wheel, and bring the other end near the upper surface, it will give a terrible crack, and the force will be discharged.
Page 21
Page 25
The electrified particles of the first cloud close when they lose their fire; the particles of the other cloud close in receiving it: in both, they have thereby an opportunity of coalescing into drops.
Page 29
Lightning rends some bodies.
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 35
As the pasteboard tube hangs loose on silk lines, when you approach it with the punch iron, it likewise will move towards the punch, being attracted while it is charged; but if at the same instant a point be presented as before, it retires again, for the point discharges it.
Page 37
Lightning has often been known to strike people blind.
Page 39
Page 40
Cut a piece of _Dutch_ gold (which is fittest for these experiments on account of its greater strength) into the form of FIG.
Page 42
Now let the globe be turned, and you see a spark strike from the bullet to the wire of the bottle, and the same instant you see and feel an exactly equal spark striking from the coating on your knuckle, and so on spark for spark.
Page 49
Place a thick plate of glass under the rubbing cushion, to cut off the communication of.
Page 51
Page 13, line 15.
Page 53