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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 265

stroke of lightning than our
common dwellings.

I have nothing new in the philosophical way to communicate to you,
except what follows. When I was last year in Germany, I met with a
singular kind of glass, being a tube about eight inches long, half an
inch in diameter, with a hollow ball of near an inch diameter at one
end, and one of an inch and half at the other, hermetically sealed,
and half filled with water.--If one end is held in the hand, and
the other a little elevated above the level, a constant succession
of large bubbles proceeds from the end in the hand to the other
end, making an appearance that puzzled me much, till I found that
the space not filled with water was also free from air, and either
filled with a subtle invisible vapour continually rising from the
water, and extremely rarefiable by the least heat at one end, and
condensable again by the least coolness at the other; or it is the
very fluid of fire itself, which parting from the hand pervades the
glass, and by its expansive force depresses the water till it can
pass between it and the glass, and escape to the other end, where it
gets through the glass again into the air. I am rather inclined to
the first opinion, but doubtful between the two. An ingenious artist
here, Mr. Nairne, mathematical instrument-maker, has made a number
of them from mine, and improved them, for his are much more sensible
than those I brought from Germany.--I bored a very small hole through
the wainscot in the seat of my window, through which a little cold
air constantly entered, while the air in the room was kept warmer
by fires daily made in it, being winter time. I placed one of his
glasses, with the elevated end against this hole; and the bubbles
from the other end, which was in a warmer situation, were continually
passing day and night, to the no small surprise of even philosophical
spectators. Each bubble discharged is larger than that from which
it proceeds, and yet that is not diminished; and by adding itself
to the bubble at the other end, that bubble is not increased, which
seems very paradoxical.--When the balls at each end are made large,
and the connecting tube very small and bent at right angles, so that
the balls, instead of being at the ends, are brought on the side of
the tube, and the tube is held so as that the balls are above it,
the water will be depressed in that which

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
Smyth states that he printed one letter from my copy, and he noted how the other copies differed from the drafts in the University of Pennsylvania.
Page 1
Sir, On Wednesday, the 27th Instant the new aerostatic Experiment, invented by Mess^rs.
Page 2
There was some Wind, but not very strong.
Page 3
It contains 50,000 cubic Feet, and is supposed to have Force of Levity equal to 1500 pounds weight.
Page 4
Page 5
If I am well at the Time, I purpose to be present, being a subscriber myself, and shall send you an exact Account of Particulars.
Page 6
When it went over our Heads, we could see the Fire which was very considerable.
Page 7
Charles propose to go up.
Page 8
This Experience is by no means a trifling one.
Page 9
Dear Sir, In mine of yesterday, I promis'd to give you an Account of Mess^rs.
Page 10
Between One & Two aClock, all Eyes were gratified with seeing it rise majestically from among the Trees, and ascend gradually above the Buildings, a most beautiful Spectacle! When it was about 200 feet high, the brave Adventurers held out and wav'd a little white Pennant, on both Sides their Car, to salute the Spectators, who return'd loud Claps of Applause.
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Le Chevalier de Cubiere qui a suivi la marche du Globe est arrive chez M.
Page 12
On evalue qu'il a ete 50 minutes en l'air.
Page 13
for "By the emulation," in Smyth, read "But the Emulation;" in paragraph fifteen for the phrase, in Smyth and Bigelow, beginning, "I wish I could see the same emulation," correct to end, "between the two Nations as I see between the two Parties here;" in paragraph sixteen, in both Bigelow and Smyth, for "Experiment," read "Experience;" and for the unintelligible phrase in both Bigelow and Smyth, "Beings of a frank and [sic] nature," read "Beings of a Rank and Nature.
Page 14
17, "Sept.