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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 229

it, and holding a flaxen thread near him, I perceived he was
electrised sufficiently to attract the thread.

I then suspended, by silk, a broad plate of metal, and electrised
some boiling water under it at about four feet distance, expecting
that the vapour, which ascended plentifully to the plate, would,
upon the principle of the foregoing experiment, carry up some of the
electricity with it; but was at length fully convinced, by several
repeated trials, that it left all its share thereof behind. This I
know not how to account for; but does it not seem to corroborate your
hypothesis, That the vapours of which the clouds are formed, leave
their share of electricity behind, in the common stock, and ascend in
the negative state?

I put boiling water into a coated Florence flask, and found that
the heat so enlarged the pores of the glass, that it could not
be charged. The electricity passed through as readily, to all
appearance, as through metal; the charge of a three-pint bottle
went freely through, without injuring the flask in the least. When
it became almost cold, I could charge it as usual. Would not this
experiment convince the Abbé Nollet of his egregious mistake? For
while the electricity went fairly through the glass, as he contends
it always does, the glass could not be charged at all.

I took a slender piece of cedar, about eighteen inches long, fixed
a brass cap in the middle, thrust a pin horizontally and at right
angles, through each end (the points in contrary directions) and hung
it, nicely balanced, like the needle of a compass, on a pin, about
six inches long, fixed in the centre of an electric stand. Then,
electrising the stand, I had the pleasure of seeing what I expected;
the wooden needle turned round, carrying the pins with their heads
foremost. I then electrised the stand negatively, expecting the
needle to turn the contrary way, but was extremely disappointed, for
it went still the same way as before. When the stand was electrised
positively, I suppose that the natural quantity of electricity in
the air being increased on one side, by what issued from the points,
the needle was attracted by the lesser quantity on the other side.
When electrised negatively, I suppose that the natural quantity of
electricity in the air was diminished near the points; in consequence
whereof, the equilibrium being destroyed, the needle was attracted by
the greater quantity on the opposite side.

The doctrine of repulsion, in electrised bodies, I begin to be
somewhat doubtful of. I think all the phenomena on which it

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

Page 8
Franklin, written in the characters of the alphabet 357 Rules for a club formerly established in Philadelphia 366 Questions discussed by the Junto forming the preceding club 369 Sketch of an English school; for the consideration of the trustees of the Philadelphia Academy 370 Advice to youth in reading 378 PAPERS ON SUBJECTS OF GENERAL POLITICS.
Page 24
I must, however, no longer call it _my hypothesis_, since I find Stuart had the same thought, though somewhat obscurely expressed, where he says, "he imagines this phenomenon may be solved by suction (improperly so called) or rather pulsion, as in the application of a cupping glass to the flesh, the air being first voided by the kindled flax.
Page 25
So that in this particular likewise, whirlwinds and water-spouts agree.
Page 30
Page 63
How a living animal obtains its quantity of this fluid called fire, is a curious question.
Page 87
forces equal? and since force and celerity in the same quantity of matter are always in _proportion_ to each other, why should we, when the quantity of matter is doubled, allow the force to continue unimpaired, and yet suppose one half of the celerity to be lost?--I wonder the more at our author's mistake in this point, since in the same number I find him observing: "We may easily conceive that a body as 3 _a_, 4 _a_, &c.
Page 102
For these reasons, I apprehend that a substance which, though capable of being distended by moisture and contracted by dryness, is so slow in receiving and parting with its humidity, that the frequent changes in the atmosphere have not time to affect it sensibly, and which therefore should gradually take nearly the medium of all those changes and preserve it constantly, would be the most proper substance of which to make such an hygrometer.
Page 139
The air immediately over it, however, may receive so much warmth from it as to be rarefied and rise, being rendered lighter than the air on each side of the stream; hence those airs must flow in to supply the place of the rising warm air, and, meeting with each other, form those tornados and water-spouts frequently met with, and seen near and over the stream; and as the.
Page 166
A very hard thunder-gust in the night.
Page 189
A square opening for a trap-door should be left in the closing of the chimney, for the sweeper to go up: the door may be made of slate or tin, and commonly kept close shut, but so placed as that, turning up against the back of the chimney when open, it closes the vacancy behind the false back, and shoots the soot, that falls in sweeping, out upon the hearth.
Page 195
He then put a small bird into the receiver, who breathed that air without any inconvenience, or suffering the least disorder.
Page 202
I suppose, taking a number of families together, that two-thirds, or half the wood, at least, is saved.
Page 205
That this motion is produced merely by the difference of specific gravity between the fluid within and that without the tube, and not by any fancied form of the tube itself, may appear by plunging it into water contained in a glass jar a foot deep, through which such motion might be seen.
Page 212
Or you may in some cases, to advantage, build additional stories over the low building, which will support a high funnel.
Page 223
It was pretty to see, but of no great use.
Page 269
Thus the great sheet is obtained, smooth and sized, and a number of the European operations saved.
Page 282
The vowel _u_ being sounded as _oo_ makes the _w_ unnecessary.
Page 318
Prohibit the exportation of your cloth, your leather, and shoes, your ironware, and your manufactures of all sorts, to make them, all cheaper at home.
Page 329
Page 357
method of contracting them, 317.