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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 221

are in the manuscript you sent me. I
understand by your son, that you had writ, or was writing, a paper
on the effect of the electrical fire on loadstones, needles, &c.
which I would ask the favour of a copy of, as well as of any other
papers on electricity, written since I had the manuscript, for which
I repeat my obligations to you.

I am, &c.

J. B.


[72] Mr. Badouin. _Editor._

[73] This is most easily observed in large strong sparks taken at
some inches distance.


_Observations on the Subjects of the preceding Letter.--Reasons for
supposing the Sea to be the grand source of Lightning.--Reasons for
doubting this hypothesis.--Improvement in a Globe for raising the
Electric Fire._

Read at the Royal Society, May 27, 1756.

_Philadelphia, Jan. 24, 1752._


I am glad to learn, by your favour of the 21st past, that Mr.
Kinnersley's lectures have been acceptable to the gentlemen of
Boston, and are like to prove serviceable to himself.

I thank you for the countenance and encouragement you have so kindly
afforded my fellow-citizen.

I send you enclosed an extract of a letter containing the substance
of what I observed concerning the communication of magnetism to
needles by electricity. The minutes I took at the time of the
experiments are mislaid. I am very little acquainted with the nature
of magnetism. Dr. Gawin Knight, inventor of the steel magnets, has
wrote largely on that subject, but I have not yet had leisure to
peruse his writings with the attention necessary to become master of
his doctrine.

Your explication of the crooked direction of lightning appears to
me both ingenious and solid. When we can account as satisfactorily
for the electrification of clouds, I think that branch of natural
philosophy will be nearly complete.

The air, undoubtedly, obstructs the motion of the electric fluid. Dry
air prevents the dissipation of an electric atmosphere, the denser
the more, as in cold weather. I question whether such an atmosphere
can be retained by a body _in vacuo_. A common electrical phial
requires a non-electric communication from the wire to every part of
the charged glass; otherwise, being dry and clean, and filled with
air only, it charges slowly, and discharges gradually, by sparks,
without a shock: but, exhausted of air, the communication is so open
and free between the inserted wire and surface of the glass, that it
charges as readily, and shocks as smartly as if filled with water:
and I doubt not, but that in the experiment you

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

Page 0
And shall we, brother Englishmen, refuse good sense and saving knowledge, because it comes from the other side of the water?_ _The following may be had of the.
Page 1
Proprietors, W.
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: Published by W.
Page 4
" And again, "Three removes are as bad as a fire," and again, "Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee:" and again, "If you would have your business done, go; if not, send.
Page 5
A man may if he knows not how to save as he gets, "keep his nose all his life to the grindstone, and die not worth a groat at last.
Page 6
You call them goods; but, if you do not take care, they will prove evils to some of you.
Page 7
"It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.
Page 8
" Gain may be temporary and uncertain; but ever, while you live, expense is constant and certain; and "It is easier to build two chimneys, than to keep one in fuel," as Poor Richard says: so, "Rather go to bed supper-less, than rise in debt," Get what you can, and what you get hold, 'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.
Page 9
Page 9, "grevious" changed to "grievous" (much more grievous) Page 11, "waisting" changed to "wasting" (wasting time must be) Page 12, "mak" changed to "make" (We may make).