Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Short: Bill and Receipt, with notes on the Care of the Telescope, 28 July 1762

From James Short:3 Bill and Receipt, with Notes on the Care of the Telescope

DS and AD: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

1762 July 28th

Dr. Franklin Dr. to James Short

To three new Speculums to a 2 foot reflecting } £ 10. 10. –
Telescope and reparations of the Brass work &c;

London 2d Aug. 1762 Received of Dr. Franklin the above Sum in full of all Demands

Jas Short

[On the reverse side:]

Endorsed: Mr Short £10. 10. 0

Rules given by Mr. Short to keep the Telescope in Order4

1. Let the Speculums never be touch’d, or wip’d.

2. When the Tube in observing is left for any time open, let it be in a horizontal Position, that Dust may not settle either on the great or small Speculums, which would on one or the other, if the Tube be either elevated or depress’d.

It is the Dust does the Mischief as it attracts the Moisture and both corrode.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3James Short (1710–1768), F.R.S., whom BF described in 1758 as “a Friend of mine, and the great Optician here,” was a distinguished astronomer and one of the most talented instrument makers of the day. DNB; and above, VII, 12 n; VIII, 158. The telescope for the repairs to which he billed BF here belonged to Lib. Co. Phila.

4These rules are in BF’s hand. Lib. Co. Phila. entered them on its minutes, Dec. 12, 1763, at the same time ordering repayment to BF for this and other expenditures he had made on its behalf.

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