THE new Benjamin Franklin Memorial and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, emphasizing mechanical skill, is a fitting monument to the ingenious scientist of the eighteenth century. His engaging letters and papers, of a practical, experimental, and conjectural nature, being tucked away in ponderous volumes of Collected Works, and therefore not widely known, are now in these pages made available to the general reader. In our scientific age these letters should be especially alluring.
In his writings Franklin used capitals abundantly and indiscriminately. In the present volume unnecessary capitals have been eliminated, but no alterations have been made in the original spelling and punctuation.
For permission to include in this volume hitherto unpublished letters thanks are due Mr. William Smith Mason, The Rosenbach Company, and the American Philosophical Society. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the many private collectors and librarians who gave me access to their collections of Franklin manuscripts, and to my wife, Julia N. Goodman, for many suggestions.
NATHAN G. GOODMAN
July fourth, 1931