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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 186

as if it
flowed from the finger; on the glass globe it is otherwise. 4. The
cool wind (or what was called so) that we used to feel as coming from
an electrified point, is, I think, more sensible when the glass globe
is used, than when the sulphur one.--But these are hasty thoughts. As
to your fifth paradox, it must likewise be true, if the globes are
alternately worked; but if worked together, the fire will neither
come up nor go down by the chain, because one globe will drink it as
fast as the other produces it.

I should be glad to know, whether the effects would be contrary if
the glass globe is solid, and the sulphur globe is hollow; but I have
no means at present of trying.

In your journeys, your glass globes meet with accidents, and sulphur
ones are heavy and inconvenient.--_Query._ Would not a thin plane of
brimstone, cast on a board, serve on occasion as a cushion, while a
globe of leather stuffed (properly mounted) might receive the fire
from the sulphur, and charge the conductor positively? Such a globe
would be in no danger of breaking[64]. I think I can conceive how it
may be done; but have not time to add more than that I am,

Yours, &c.



[64] The discoveries of the late ingenious Mr. Symmer, on the
positive and negative electricity produced by the mutual friction of
white and black silk, &c. afford hints for farther improvements to be
made with this view.

[In Mr. Collinson's edition, several papers followed here, by
the Abbé Mazeas, and others, upon the subject of Dr. Franklin's
experiments, which, that the letters of our author might not be too
much interrupted, we have thought proper to transfer to an Appendix.
A subsequent paper by Mr. David Colden, entitled Remarks on the Abbé
Nollet's Letters to Benjamin Franklin, esq. on Electricity, will be
found transferred in the same manner.]


_Electrical Kite._

_Philadelphia, Oct. 19, 1752._


As frequent mention is made in public papers from Europe of the
success of the Philadelphia experiment for drawing the electric
fire from clouds by means of pointed rods of iron erected on high
buildings, &c. it may be agreeable to the curious to be informed that
the same experiment has succeeded in Philadelphia, though made in a
different and more easy manner, which is as follows:

Make a small cross of two light strips

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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now that I was rather lucky in my judges, and that perhaps they were not really so very good ones as I then esteem'd them.
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I then thought of going to New York, as the nearest place where there was a printer; and I was rather inclin'd to leave Boston when I reflected that I had already made myself a little obnoxious to the governing party, and, from the arbitrary proceedings of the Assembly in my brother's case, it was likely I might, if I stay'd, soon bring myself into scrapes; and farther, that my indiscrete disputations about religion began to make me pointed at with horror.
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Palmer as a young man of some ingenuity, tho' he seriously expostulated with me upon the principles of my pamphlet, which to him appear'd abominable.
Page 46
All these I took this occasion of exhibiting to the company, and was much flatter'd by their admiration; and Wygate, who was desirous of becoming a master, grew more and more attach'd to me on that account, as well as from the similarity of our studies.
Page 49
I suffered a good deal, gave up the point in my own mind, and was rather disappointed when I found myself recovering, regretting, in some degree, that I must now, some time or other, have all that disagreeable work to do over again.
Page 51
My acquaintance with ingenious people in the town increased.
Page 61
We had discuss'd this point in our Junto, where I was on the side of an addition, being persuaded that the first small sum struck in 1723 had done much good by increasing the trade, employment, and number of inhabitants in the province, since I now saw all the old houses inhabited, and many new ones building; whereas I remembered well, that when I first walk'd about the streets of Philadelphia, eating my roll, I saw most of the houses in Walnut-street, between Second and Front streets, with bills on their doors, "To be let"; and many likewise in Chestnut-street and other streets, which made me then think the inhabitants of the city were deserting it one after another.
Page 62
I now open'd a little stationer's shop.
Page 68
School and other education constantly proceed upon false principles, and show a clumsy apparatus pointed at a false mark; but your apparatus is simple, and the mark a true one; and while parents and young persons are left destitute of other just means of estimating and becoming prepared for a reasonable course in life, your discovery that the thing is in many a man's private power, will be invaluable! Influence upon the private character, late in life, is not only an influence late in life, but a weak influence.
Page 72
In the hope, therefore, that you will listen to the prayer addressed to you in this letter, I beg to subscribe myself, my dearest sir, etc.
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{ 12 } Read, or overlook my { 1 } accounts, and dine.
Page 124
In gay conversation over our wine, after supper, he told us, jokingly, that he much admir'd the idea of Sancho Panza, who, when it was proposed to give him a government, requested it might be a government of blacks, as then, if he could not agree with his people, he might sell them.
Page 127
The general eagerly laid hold of my words, and said, "Then you, sir, who are a man of interest there, can probably procure them for us; and I beg you will undertake it.
Page 131
, and readily paid my account of disbursements, thanking me repeatedly, and requesting my farther assistance in sending provisions after him.
Page 132
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Page 152
Perceiving it as I sat by him, I said, "They have given you, sir, too low a seat.
Page 154
Even in the simple operation of sailing when at sea, I have often observ'd different judgments in the officers who commanded the successive watches, the wind being the same.
Page 155
I set out immediately, with my son, for London, and we only stopt a little by the way to view Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, and Lord Pembroke's house and gardens, with his very curious antiquities at Wilton.