Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Jacques de Romas, 29 July 1754

To Jacques de Romas4

MS not found; reprinted from Jacques de Romas, Mémoire, sur les moyens de se garantir de la foudre dans les maisons; … (Bordeaux, 1776), pp. 145–6. (Yale University Library)

Philadelphia, July 29. 1754


Your most obliging Favour of Octob. 195 with your two very ingenious Memoirs on the subject of Electricity,6 came not to hand till yesterday. By this Vessel, which is just departing for London, I can only acknowledge the Receipt of them, and assure you that the Correspondence so kindly offer’d will be extreamly agreable to me. A more particular answer I must defer till the next Opportunity;7 in the mean time I send you a late Paper of mine on Lightning,8 which perhaps may not be published before this reaches your Hands.

I am very respectfully, Sir, Your most obedient humble servant

B. Franklin

M. Romas

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Jacques de Romas (1706–1776), physicist, lieutenant assesseur of the Présidial of Nérac, 1738, member of the Academy of Sciences of Bordeaux and correspondent of that of Paris, claimed to have invented the lightning kite before BF. He wrote several scientific papers and the Mémoire from which this letter is reprinted. I. Bernard Cohen, “The Two Hundredth Anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s Two Lightning Experiments . …” APS Proc., XCVI (1952), 360–4; Merget, “Etude sur les Travaux de Romas,” Académie des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts de Bordeaux, Recueil des Actes, XV (1853), 447–518.

5Not found.

6Apparently MS versions of two papers later printed in the Académie Royale des Sciences (Paris), Mémoires de mathématique et de physique, II (1755), 393–407; IV (1763), 514–7, respectively.

7According to Romas, BF never resumed the correspondence.

8Probably Some Farther Remarks and Experiments on Lightning, sent to Collinson in September 1753 (see above, p. 68).

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