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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 166

I shall be
able to make this part intelligible. By the word _surface_, in this
case, I do not mean mere length and breadth without thickness; but
when I speak of the upper or under surface of a piece of glass, the
outer or inner surface of the phial, I mean length, breadth, and
half the thickness, and beg the favour of being so understood. Now
I suppose, that glass in its first principles, and in the furnace,
has no more of this electrical fluid than other common matter: that
when it is blown, as it cools, and the particles of common fire leave
it, its pores become a vacuum: that the component parts of glass are
extremely small and fine, I guess from its never showing a rough
face when it breaks, but always a polish; and from the smallness of
its particles I suppose the pores between them must be exceedingly
small, which is the reason that aqua-fortis, nor any other menstruum
we have, can enter to separate them and dissolve the substance; nor
is any fluid we know of, fine enough to enter, except common fire,
and the electric fluid. Now the departing fire, leaving a vacuum, as
aforesaid, between these pores, which air nor water are fine enough
to enter and fill, the electric fluid (which is every where ready
in what we call the non-electrics, and in the non-electric mixtures
that are in the air) is attracted in; yet does not become fixed with
the substance of the glass, but subsists there as water in a porous
stone, retained only by the attraction of the fixed parts, itself
still loose and a fluid. But I suppose farther, that in the cooling
of the glass, its texture becomes closest in the middle, and forms
a kind of partition, in which the pores are so narrow, that the
particles of the electrical fluid, which enter both surfaces at the
same time, cannot go through, or pass and repass from one surface to
the other, and so mix together; yet, though the particles of electric
fluid, imbibed by each surface, cannot themselves pass through to
those of the other, their repellency can, and by this means they
act on one another. The particles of the electric fluid have a
mutual repellency, but by the power of attraction in the glass they
are condensed or forced nearer to each other. When the glass has
received, and, by its attraction, forced closer together so much of
this electric fluid, as that the power of attracting and condensing
in the one, is equal to the power of

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 4
252 Mistake, that only metals and water were conductors, rectified.
Page 10
Page 17
Accordingly, when the workmen retired in the evening, I assembled a number of my play-fellows, and by labouring diligently, like ants, sometimes four of us uniting our strength to carry a single stone, we removed them all, and constructed our little quay.
Page 42
I therefore continued to work with Keimer, unhappy respecting the sum which Collins had drawn from me, and almost in continual agony at the thoughts of Vernon, who fortunately made no demand of his money till several years after.
Page 82
from being damaged by lightning, by erecting pointed rods, that should rise some feet above the most elevated part, and descend some feet into the ground or the water.
Page 99
She fought to keep them dependent upon her for protection; the best plan which could be devised for retaining them in peaceable subjection.
Page 117
And having considered that the covering its ground-plat with buildings and pavements, which carry.
Page 126
_Observations on the Leyden Bottle, with Experiments proving the different electrical State of its different Surfaces.
Page 136
Page 139
When it is well charged it begins to move; the bullet nearest to a pillar moves towards the thimble on that pillar, and passing by electrifies it, and then pushes itself from it; the succeeding bullet, which communicates with the other surface of the glass, more strongly attracts that thimble, on account of its being before electrified by the other bullet; and thus the wheel encreases its motion till it comes to such a height as that the resistance of the air regulates it.
Page 144
Page 170
And besides, when the globe is filled with cinnamon, or other non-electric, no electric fluid can be obtained from its outer surface, for the reason before-mentioned.
Page 214
Page 227
brook to Delaware or Schuylkill, and down one of them to their meeting, and up the other and the other brook; the time of its doing this may possibly be observable, and the further upwards the brooks are chosen, the more observable it would be.
Page 233
Also tinder, tied to another piece of the wire, kindled by it.
Page 274
It is true that if another deluge should happen wherein the windows of heaven are to be opened, such pipes may be unequal to the falling quantity; and if God for our sins should think fit to rain fire upon us, as upon some cities of old, it is not expected that our conductors of whatever size, should secure our houses against a miracle.
Page 275
Page 295
Some of the effects of an electric body, which I suppose the Abbé has observed in the exterior surface of a charged phial, are that all light bodies are attracted by it.
Page 305
Page 341
supposed originally all salt, 91.