Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Edward Nairne, 8 December 1762

To Edward Nairne5

Draft: American Philosophical Society

Philada. Dec. 8, 1762

Mr. Nairne,

I forget whether I paid you for the Magnet. Let me know.

If you can make a Thermometer agreable to the enclos’d Directions, please send it me.6 Mrs. Stevenson where I lodg’d will pay you.

My Respects to Mr. Canton7 when you see him. I am &c.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Edward Nairne (1726–1806), F.R.S., 1776, was an English electrician and instrument maker. In 1774 he published a paper showing the superiority of pointed lightning rods over rounded ones, thus supporting BF in his controversy with Benjamin Wilson. BF bought various things from Nairne during his first mission and on Sept. 6, 1765, during his second mission purchased an “Achromatic prospective Glass with two Eye Glasses in one Slider that Magnifies Different,” a set of “6 Inch Magnetts in Mahogany Case,” and an “Electrical Machine with 6 Inch Globe in a plain box.” DNB; “Account of Expences,” pp. 5, 41; PMHB, LV (1931), 104, 121; Nairne to BF, Sept. 6, 1765. APS.

6These directions have not been found, but they may relate to an “Electrical Air-thermometer” which Ebenezer Kinnersley “contrived” and described to BF in a letter of March 12, 1761; see above, IX, 286–9.

7John Canton, the English electrical experimenter; see above, IV, 390 n.

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