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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 225

strips of glass, puts me in mind of a
very similar one of lightning, that I observed at New-York, October,
1750, a few days after I left Philadelphia. In company with a number
of gentlemen, I went to take a view of the city from the Dutch
church steeple, in which is a clock about twenty or twenty-five feet
below the bell. From the clock went a wire through two floors, to
the clock-hammer near the bell, the holes in the floor for the wire
being perhaps about a quarter of an inch diameter. We were told, that
in the spring of 1750, the lightning struck the clock hammer, and
descended along the wire to the clock, melting in its way several
spots of the wire, from three to nine inches long, through one-third
of its substance, till coming within a few feet of the lower end, it
melted the wire quite through, in several places, so that it fell
down in several pieces; which spots and pieces we saw. When it got to
the end of the wire, it flew off to the hinge of a door, shattered
the door, and dissipated. In its passage through the holes of the
floors it did not do the least damage, which evidences that wire is a
good conductor of lightning (as it is of electricity) provided it be
substantial enough, and might, in this case, had it been continued to
the earth, have conducted it without damaging the building.[74]

Your information about your globe's raising the electric fire in
greater quantities, by means of a wire extended from the cushion to
the earth, will enable me, I hope, to remedy a great inconvenience
I have been under, to collect the fire with the electrifying glass
I use, which is fixed in a very dry room, three stories from the
ground. When you send your meteorological observations to ****, I
hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing them.

I am, &c.

J. B.

FOOTNOTE:

[74] The wire mentioned in this account was re-placed by a small
brass chain. In the summer of 1763, the lightning again struck that
steeple, and from the clock-hammer near the bell, it pursued the
chain as it had before done the wire, went off to the same hinge,
and again shattered the same door. In its passage through the same
holes of the same floors, it did no damage to the floors, nor to the
building during the whole extent of the chain. But the chain itself
was destroyed, being partly scattered about in fragments of two or
three links

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

Page 6
--Sentiments of Franklin on pointed rods, not fully understood in Europe.
Page 14
He was a man of piety, and a constant attendant on the best preachers, whose sermons he took a pleasure in writing down according, to the expeditory method he had devised.
Page 54
She accordingly disposed of all her property to be applied to charitable uses, reserving to herself only twelve pounds a year; and of this small pittance she gave a.
Page 70
Meredith's father, who, according to our agreement, was to defray the whole expence of our printing materials, had only paid a hundred pounds.
Page 75
Meanwhile, that passion of youth, so difficult to govern, had often drawn me into intrigues with despicable women who fell in my way; which were not unaccompanied with expence and inconvenience, besides the perpetual risk of injuring my health, and catching a disease which I dreaded above all things.
Page 96
The whole executive authority was committed to the president-general.
Page 109
Franklin was appointed to assist in the negociation which had been set on foot by Silas Deane at the court of France.
Page 110
It did not long continue.
Page 116
And if the number of appliers so entitled should be so large as that the sum will not suffice to afford to each as much as might otherwise not be improper, the proportion to each shall be diminished, so as to afford to every one some assistance.
Page 130
When _minus_ (or when in the common state) it will attract them, but stronger when _minus_ than when in the common state, the difference being greater.
Page 159
acres may strike and discharge on the earth at a proportionably greater distance.
Page 169
And, 2dly, that the electric fire freely removes from place to place, in and through the substance of a non-electric, but not so through the substance of glass.
Page 189
If both bottles then were electrified _positively_, the ball being attracted and repelled by one, must be also repelled by the other.
Page 233
Hence it appears that the electric fire, though it has no sensible heat when in a state of rest, will, by its violent.
Page 235
It extended down the cedar roof to the eaves, and from thence down the wall of the house, four story and a half, to the pavement in Water-street, being fastened to the wall, in.
Page 236
_Answer to some of the foregoing Subjects.
Page 256
The same experiments being made with the small stone stuck by one edge on.
Page 264
--One would think it was now time to try some other trick;--and ours is recommended (whatever this able philosopher may have been told to the contrary) by more than twelve years experience, wherein, among the great number of houses furnished with iron rods in North America, not one so guarded has been materially hurt with lightning, and several have been evidently preserved by their means; while a number of houses, churches, barns, ships, &c.
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4.
Page 344
'silk handkercheif' replaced by 'silk handkerchief'.