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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 249

from an electrised
body, shows this clearly when a point or a knob is presented under it.

You seem to think highly of the importance of this discovery, as
do many others on our side of the water. Here it is very little
regarded; so little, that though it is now seven or eight years
since it was made public, I have not heard of a single house as
yet attempted to be secured by it. It is true the mischiefs done
by lightning are not so frequent here as with us, and those who
calculate chances may perhaps find that not one death (or the
destruction of one house) in a hundred thousand happens from
that cause, and that therefore it is scarce worth while to be at
any expence to guard against it.--But in all countries there are
particular situations of buildings more exposed than others to
such accidents, and there are minds so strongly impressed with the
apprehension of them, as to be very unhappy every time a little
thunder is within their hearing;--it may therefore be well to render
this little piece of new knowledge as general and as well understood
as possible, since to make us _safe_ is not all its advantage, it is
some to make us _easy_. And as the stroke it secures us from might
have chanced perhaps but once in our lives, while it may relieve us
a hundred times from those painful apprehensions, the latter may
possibly on the whole contribute more to the happiness of mankind
than the former.

Your kind wishes and congratulations are very obliging. I return them
cordially;--being, with great regard and esteem,

My dear Sir,

Your affectionate friend,

And most obedient humble servant,

B. FRANKLIN.




_Accounts from Carolina (mentioned in the foregoing Letter) of the
Effects of Lightning on two of the Rods commonly affixed to Houses
there, for securing them against Lightning_.


_Charlestown, Nov. 1, 1760._

"----It is some years since Mr. Raven's rod was struck by lightning.
I hear an account of it was published at the time, but I cannot find
it. According to the best information I can now get, he had fixed to
the outside of his chimney a large iron rod, several feet in length,
reaching above the chimney; and to the top of this rod the points
were fixed. From the lower end of this rod, a small brass wire was
continued down to the top of another iron rod driven into the earth.
On the ground-floor in the chimney stood a

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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 13
of individuals.
Page 51
There lodged in the same house with us a young woman, a milliner, who had a shop by the side of the Exchange.
Page 87
He looked forward to the period when an institution on an enlarged plan would become necessary.
Page 102
He was prevented by an untimely end, from bringing his invention to any degree of perfection.
Page 105
He represented facts in so strong a point of view, that the inexpediency of the act must have appeared clear to every unprejudiced mind.
Page 110
After a fair and diligent examination, in the course of which Mesmer repeated a number of experiments, in the presence of the commissioners, some of which were tried upon themselves, they determined that it was a mere trick, intended to impose upon the ignorant and credulous--Mesmer was thus interrupted in his career to wealth and fame, and a most insolent attempt to impose upon the human understanding baffled.
Page 154
So that A will have a redundance of this fluid, which forms an atmosphere round, and B an exactly equal deficiency.
Page 166
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.
Page 192
Now what the spunge is to water, the same is water to the electric fluid.
Page 210
"Nov.
Page 237
A light lock of cotton, suspended a fine thread from the cieling, hung opposite to, and within an inch of the bullet.
Page 254
The copper tea-kettle being thin suffered some damage.
Page 273
And if the quantity discharged by a single pointed rod may be so considerable as I have shown it; the quantity discharged by a number will be proportionably greater.
Page 280
To prove whether this was actually the case or not, I ground one of my phials in a part where it was extremely thin, grinding it considerably beyond the middle, and very near to the opposite superficies, as I found, upon breaking it after the experiment.
Page 290
soie, parce qu'ils laisseroient passer la matiére électrique s'ils etoient mouillés, j'ai pris les précautions necessaires pour en empêcher.
Page 298
The next thing I meet with is in the Abbé's fifth letter, _p.
Page 322
_Independence_, soon acquired in America, iii.
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356.
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170.
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_White_, fittest colour for clothes in hot climates, ii.