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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 83

for the loss by
evaporation. And yet that bay is salt quite up to Annapolis.

As to our other subject, the different degrees of heat imbibed from
the sun's rays by cloths of different colours, since I cannot find
the notes of my experiment to send you, I must give it as well as I
can from memory.

But first let me mention an experiment you may easily make yourself.
Walk but a quarter of an hour in your garden when the sun shines,
with a part of your dress white, and a part black; then apply your
hand to them alternately, and you will find a very great difference
in their warmth. The black will be quite hot to the touch, the white
still cool.

Another. Try to fire the paper with a burning glass. If it is white,
you will not easily burn it;--but if you bring the focus to a black
spot, or upon letters, written or printed, the paper will immediately
be on fire under the letters.

Thus fullers and dyers find black cloths, of equal thickness with
white ones, and hung out equally wet, dry in the sun much sooner
than the white, being more readily heated by the sun's rays. It is
the same before a fire; the heat of which sooner penetrates black
stockings than white ones, and so is apt sooner to burn a man's
shins. Also beer much sooner warms in a black mug set before the
fire, than in a white one, or in a bright silver tankard.

My experiment was this. I took a number of little square pieces of
broad cloth from a taylor's pattern-card, of various colours. There
were black, deep blue, lighter blue, green, purple, red, yellow,
white, and other colours, or shades of colours. I laid them all out
upon the snow in a bright sun-shiny morning. In a few hours (I cannot
now be exact as to the time) the black, being warmed most by the sun,
was sunk so low as to be below the stroke of the sun's rays; the dark
blue almost as low, the lighter blue not quite so much as the dark,
the other colours less as they were lighter; and the quite white
remained on the surface of the snow, not having entered it at all.

What signifies philosophy that does not apply to some use?---May we
not learn from hence, that black clothes are not so fit to wear in a
hot sunny climate or season, as white ones; because in such clothes
the body is more heated by the sun when we

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 8
Veillard .
Page 11
--On the Saltness of Seawater 263 To Miss Stephenson.
Page 41
This, however, was afterward of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, _Don't give too much for.
Page 53
To pursue the thought of this elegant writer, let us suppose one of the most robust of these _Hypanians_, so famed in history, was in a manner coeval with time itself; that he began to exist at break of day, and that, from the uncommon strength of his constitution, he has been able to show himself active in life, through the numberless minutes of ten or twelve hours.
Page 71
Now if it be a good principle that the exportation of a commodity is to be restrained, that so our people at home may have it.
Page 74
When the lady is unusually fretful, finds fault with the servants, is discontented with the children, and complains much of the filthiness of everything about her, these are signs which ought not to be neglected; yet they are not decisive, as they sometimes come on and go off again without producing any farther effect.
Page 91
"DEAR SISTER, "I am highly pleased with the account Captain Freeman gives me of you.
Page 98
The family is a respectable one, but whether there be any fortune I know not; and as you do not inquire about this particular, I suppose you think with me, that where everything else desirable is to be met with, that is not very material.
Page 102
"Portsmouth, August 17, 1761.
Page 105
New-York, as I said before, has refused.
Page 110
[16] [16] The American Philosophical Society was instituted in 1769, and was formed by the union of two societies which had formerly subsisted at Philadelphia, whose views and objects were of a similar nature.
Page 116
If I judge some _two_ reasons _con_ equal to some _three_ reasons _pro_, I strike out the _five_; and, thus proceeding, I find at length where the _balance_ lies; and if, after a day or two of farther consideration, nothing new that is of importance occurs on either side, I come to a determination accordingly.
Page 120
I drank tea with her; we talked affectionately of you and our other friends the Wilkes, of whom she had received no late intelligence; what became of her since, I have not heard.
Page 130
Oh! that moral science were in as fair a way of improvement; that men would cease to be wolves to one another; and that human beings would at length learn what they now improperly call humanity! "I am glad that my little paper on the Aurora Borealis pleased.
Page 141
During seven or eight days I shall be very busy; after that, you shall hear from me, and the carriage shall be at your service.
Page 162
Page 182
Does not the apparent wreck of the surface of this globe, thrown up into long ridges of mountains, with strata in various positions, make it probable that its internal mass is a fluid, but a fluid so dense as to float the heaviest of.
Page 183
Page 193
Universal space, as far as we know of it, seems to be filled with a subtile fluid, whose motion or vibration is called light.
Page 208
I send you, herewith, a letter from an ingenious physician of my acquaintance, which gives one instance of this, that fell within his observation.