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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 268

A. B. (_See Plate_
IV.) being supported about 10 inches and a half above the table by
a wax-stand, and under it erected a _pointed wire_ 7 inches and a
half high, and one-fifth of an inch thick, and tapering to a sharp
point, and communicating with the table; when the _point_ (being
uppermost) is _covered_ by the end of a finger, the conductor may be
full charged, and the electrometer c[86], will rise to the height
indicating a full charge: but the moment the point is _uncovered_,
the ball of the electrometer drops, showing the prime conductor
to be instantly discharged and nearly emptied of its electricity.
Turn the wire its _blunt_ end upwards (which represents an unpointed
bar) and no such effect follows, the electrometer remaining at its
usual height when the prime conductor is charged.

[Illustration: (of these experiments)

_Plate IV._ _Vol. I. page 388._

_Published as the Act directs, April 1, 1806, by Longman, Hurst, Rees
& Orme, Paternoster Row._]


OBSERVATION.

_What_ quantity of lightning, a high pointed rod well communicating
with the earth may be expected to discharge from the clouds silently
in a short time, is yet unknown; but I have reason from a particular
fact to think it may at some times be very great. In Philadelphia I
had such a rod fixed to the top of my chimney, and extending about
nine feet above it. From the foot of this rod, a wire (the thickness
of a goose-quill) came through a covered glass tube in the roof, and
down through the well of the stair-case; the lower end connected
with the iron spear of a pump. On the stair-case opposite to my
chamber-door, the wire was divided; the ends separated about six
inches, a little bell on each end; [and] between the bells a little
brass ball suspended by a silk thread, to play between and strike
the bells when clouds passed with electricity in them. After having
frequently drawn sparks and charged bottles from the bell of the
upper wire, I was one night waked by loud cracks on the stair-case.
Starting up and opening the door, I perceived that the brass ball,
instead of vibrating as usual between the bells, was repelled and
kept at a distance from both; while the fire passed sometimes in very
large quick cracks from bell to bell; and sometimes in a continued
dense white stream, seemingly as large as my finger, whereby the
whole stair-case was enlightened as with sunshine, so that one
might see to pick up a pin[87]. And from the apparent

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

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[i-140] _Ibid.
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by Benjamin Vaughan].
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_ | | 19 | .
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Is their Condition then made worse by their falling into our Hands? No; they have only exchanged one Slavery for another, and I may say a better; for here they are brought into a Land where the Sun of Islamism gives forth its Light, and shines in full Splendor, and they have an Opportunity of making themselves acquainted with the true Doctrine, and thereby saving their .