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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 130

time. The advantage of such a vessel
is, that she needs no ballast, therefore swims either lighter or will
carry more goods; and that passengers are not so much incommoded by
her rolling: to which may be added, that if she is to defend herself
by her cannon, they will probably have more effect, being kept more
generally in a horizontal position, than those in common vessels. I
think, however, that it would be an improvement of that model, to
make the sides which are opposed to each other perfectly parallel,
though the other sides are formed as in common thus, figure 10.

The building of a double ship would indeed be more expensive in
proportion to her burthen; and that perhaps is sufficient to
discourage the method.

The accident of fire is generally well guarded against by the prudent
captain's strict orders against smoking between decks, or carrying a
candle there out of a lanthorn. But there is one dangerous practice
which frequent terrible accidents have not yet been sufficient to
abolish; that of carrying store-spirits to sea in casks. Two large
ships, the Seraphis and the Duke of Athol, one an East-Indiaman, the
other a frigate, have been burnt within these two last years, and
many lives miserably destroyed, by drawing spirits out of a cask near
a candle. It is high time to make it a general rule, that all the
ship's store of spirits should be carried in bottles.

The misfortune by a stroke of lightning I have in my former writings
endeavoured to show a method of guarding against, by a chain and
pointed rod, extending, when run up, from above the top of the mast
to the sea. These instruments are now made and sold at a reasonable
price by Nairne & Co. in London, and there are several instances of
success attending the use of them. They are kept in a box, and may be
ran up and fixed in about five minutes, on the apparent approach of a
thunder gust.

Of the meeting and shocking with other ships in the night, I have
known two instances in voyages between London and America. In one
both ships arrived though much damaged, each reporting their belief
that the other must have gone to the bottom. In the other, only one
got to port; the other was never afterwards heard of. These instances
happened many years ago, when the commerce between Europe and America
was not a tenth part of what it is at present, ships of course
thinner scattered, and the chance of meeting proportionably less.
It has long been the practice

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Text Comparison with Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

Page 0
COLLINSON, of _London_, F.
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Thus, place an electrised bottle on clean glass or dry wax, and you will not, by touching the wire, get out the fire from the top.
Page 4
Fix a wire in the lead, with which the bottom of the bottle is armed, (_d_) so as that bending upwards, its ring-end may be level with the top or ring-end of the wire in the cork (_e_), and at three or four inches distance.
Page 6
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By sifting fine sand on it; this does it gradually.
Page 13
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A small upright shaft of wood passes at right angles through a thin round board, of about twelve inches diameter, and turns on a sharp point of iron fixed in the lower end, while a strong wire in the upper-end passing thro' a small hole in a thin brass plate, keeps the shaft truly vertical.
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[4] Spirits, at the same time, are to be fired by a spark sent from side to side through the river, without any other conductor than the water; an experiment which we some time since performed, to the amazement of many.
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Hence the appearing divergency in a stream of electrified effluvia.
Page 32
The form of the electrical atmosphere is that of the body it surrounds.
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This will appear plain, when the difference of acuteness in the corners is made very great.
Page 44
Now the departing fire leaving a vacuum, as aforesaid, between these pores, which air nor water are fine enough to enter and fill, the electrical fluid (which is every where ready in what we call the non-electrics, and in the non-electric Mixtures that are in the air,) is attracted in: yet does not become fixed with the substance of the glass, but subsists there as water in a porous stone, retained only by the attraction of the fixed parts, itself still loose and a fluid.
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For if it was fine enough to come with the electrical fluid through the body of one person, why should it stop on the skin of another? But I shall never have done, if I tell you all my conjectures, thoughts, and imaginations, on the nature and operations of this electrical fluid, and relate the variety of little experiments we have try'd.
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Of the Nature and Principles of Geography; its ancient and present State in all Nations, its Usefulness to Persons of all Professions, and the Method.
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[9] See s 10 of _Farther Experiments_, &c.