The Ingenious Dr. Franklin: Selected Scientific Letters of Benjamin Franklin

By Nathan G. Goodman; Benjamin Franklin | Go to book overview

ADVANTAGE OF POINTED CONDUCTORS

[ 1772?]

SIR

. . . . . . . . . . .

POINTED conductors to secure buildings from lightning have now been in use near 20 years in America, and are there become so common, that numbers of them appear on private houses in every street of the principal towns, besides those on churches, public buildings, magazines of powder, and gentlemen's seats in the country. Thunder storms are much more frequent there than in Europe, and hitherto there has been no instance of a house so guarded being damaged by lightning; for wherever it has broke over any of them the point has always received it, & the conductor has convey'd it safely into the earth, of which we have now 5 authentick instances. Here in England, the practice has made a slower progress, damage by lightning being less frequent, & people of course less apprehensive of danger from it; yet besides St. Paul's Church, St. James's Church, the Queen's Palace & Blenheim House a number of private Gentlemen's seats round the town are now provided with conductors, and the ships bound to the east & W Indies & the Coast of Guinea begin to supply themselves with chains for that purpose made by Mr. Nairne, especially since the return of Messrs Banks & Solander, who relate that their

-62-

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The Ingenious Dr. Franklin: Selected Scientific Letters of Benjamin Franklin
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Practical Schemes And Suggestions 15
  • Daylight Saving To the Authors Of - The Journal of Paris 17
  • Treatment for Gout 23
  • Cold Air Bath 25
  • Electrical Treatment For Paralysis 26
  • Lead Poisoning 29
  • Rules of Health And Long Life 33
  • The Art of Procuring Pleasant Dreams 35
  • Learning to Swim 41
  • On Swimming 46
  • Choosing Eye-Glasses 50
  • Bifocals 54
  • Of Lightning and the Method (now Used in America) of Securing Buildings and Persons From Its Mischievous Effects 56
  • Advantage of Pointed Conductors 62
  • Pennsylvanian Fireplaces 64
  • Slaughtering by Electricity 71
  • Canal Transportation 74
  • Indian Corn 76
  • The Armonica 79
  • Divers Experiments And Observations 87
  • First Hydrogen Balloon 89
  • A Hot-Air Balloon 94
  • First Aerial Voyage by Man 96
  • Second Aerial Voyage by Man 99
  • A Prophecy on Aerial Navigation 103
  • Magic Squares 106
  • Early Electrical Experiments 110
  • The Kite 115
  • The Course and Effect Of Lightning 117
  • Character of Clouds 122
  • Musical Sounds 125
  • Locating the Gulf Stream 129
  • Charting the Gulf Stream 133
  • Depth of Water And Speed of Boats 136
  • Distillation of Salt Water 140
  • Behavior of Oil On Water 142
  • Earliest Account Of Marsh Gas 145
  • Smallpox and Cancer 148
  • Restoration of Life By Sun Rays 150
  • Scientific Deductions And Conjectures 153
  • Cause of Colds 155
  • Definition of a Cold 157
  • Heat and Cold 158
  • Cold by Evaporation 165
  • On Springs 170
  • Tides and Rivers 172
  • Direction of Rivers 178
  • Salt and Salt Water 183
  • Origin of Northeast Storms 185
  • Effect of Oil on Water 188
  • Spouts and Whirlwinds 198
  • Sun Spots 212
  • Conductors And Non-Conductors 215
  • Queries on Electricity From Dr. Ingenhousz; with Answers 220
  • Magnetism and the Theory Of The Earth 225
  • Nature of Lightning 228
  • Sound 232
  • Prehistoric Animals - Of the Ohio 235
  • Toads Found in Stone 237
  • Letters and Papers in This Volume 239
  • Correspondents Mentioned In This Volume 242
  • A Few Additional Letters And Papers of Interest to the General Reader 243
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