Ben Franklin's Famous Electricity Book/Pamphlet Excerpted
Report of French Experiments Based on Franklin's Work
History of Incas with Copper Engraving of Inca Kings
The highlight of this May 1752 issue of Gentleman's Magazine are excerpts from Benjamin Franklin’s famous 1751 book on electricity and lightning (now selling for over $60,000) and an early report of French experiments confirming Franklin’s hypothesis that static electricity and lightning were the same matter, and on a practical level, “thunder clouds may be deprived of their fire by iron bars.” The Franklin electricity book was published by Edward Cave and publisher and editor of Gentleman's Magazine and it was republished later in America and translated into French and other languages. This became the basis for Franklin's international fame for the lightning rod was such a valuable innovation throughout the world. Below are three pictures of portions of the historic entries in this issue regarding Franklin's ground breaking experiments and their following in other countries.
Also in this issue is an article on the History of the Incas with a full plate copper engraving of six Inca Kings and an engravings of Peruvian instruments. There are also articles on the method of tanning in Maryland colony; the spread of small pox and inoculation; and the heinous nature of sodomy, which sounds archaic today (“A love of our species, and the preservation of it; a love of our country, and the preventing of the most dreadful plagues which this sin threatens, should determine all Britons to do their utmost to expose and bring to condign punishment the Sodomite.” )
Below are portions of the Ben Franklin electricity articles
Below is the index from the title page of this issue showing the other subject addressed.
Below are the engravings relating to the history of the Incas of Peru contained in this issue.
The Gentleman's Magazine, because of its relationship with Peter Collinson, Fellow of the Royal Society, who was Ben Franklin's early and regular scientific correspondent and it role as publisher of Franklin's electricity book, is an unparalleled repository of contemporaneous articles on Franklin's historic electricity and lightning experiments. Here the magazine makes use of its access to the manuscript to publish early excerpts from the book and reports on some of the international reception for the findings. This issue is disound, complete and in fine condition.
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