Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from F. and Anton Georg Eckhardt frères, 25 November 1777: résumé

From F. and Anton Georg Eckhardt frères3

ALS: American Philosophical Society

<The Hague, November 25, 1777, in French: One of us was known to you in London, and had the honor of your esteem. Our friend and correspondent M. Penet will give you the prospectus of a work describing an instrument that we have invented; we should be immensely flattered if you would allow your name to be included among our subscribers in France. We include a memorandum about a capstan of our design.4 You will doubtless remember its debut in England, when the Navy Board had it placed on a ship and it performed most successfully; the ship has not yet put to sea, however, and the capstan has not come into use. M. Penet will show you the products of a manufactory that we have established, which works with speed and precision and turns out better goods at more moderate prices than any factory of its kind in Europe.>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3A firm of Dutch inventors. Anton Georg had designed a new type of water wheel in 1772, much more efficient than its predecessors, and the next year had been elected to the Royal Society. Biographisch Woordenboek der Nederlanden (Amsterdam, 1969); above, VIII, 359.

4The prospectus and memorandum are in the APS. The former, which is printed, has to do with a universal graphometer, for measuring angles, that is better than all the mathematical, optical, or mechanical instruments hitherto known; it can be used in the military art, painting, engineering, architecture, etc. The MS memorandum describes the advantages of the new capstan over conventional ones.

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