Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jan Ingenhousz, 1 April 1779

From Jan Ingenhousz

Letterbook abstract: Gemeente-Archief, Statserf, Breda

April 1. 1779

a Franklin, que le volume des Trans. philos. contains two papers of mine.3 That another paper is read upon a new theory of gunpowder which I have imagined.4 That I desire that his nephew should send me what money he has in hand for that I think trade is too precarious in the present circumstances of time.5

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Ingenhousz the previous year (XXVI, 439) had acquainted BF with the invention that was the subject of the first paper, entitled “A ready Way of lighting a Candle, by a very moderate Electrical Spark,” Phil. Trans., LXVIII (1778), 1022–6, read July 9, 1778. The second paper was “Electrical Experiments, to explain how far the Phenomena of the Electrophorus may be accounted for by Dr. Franklin’s Theory of positive and negative Electricity …,” ibid., pp. 1027–48, read June 4, 1778.

4“Account of a new Kind of inflammable Air or Gass, which can be made in a Moment without Apparatus … together with a new Theory of Gunpowder,” ibid., LXIX (1779), pp. 376–418. Ingenhousz presented the paper to the Royal Society on March 25, 1779.

5For the background of Ingenhousz’s financial dealings with JW, who was handling the investments of both Jan Ingenhousz and his brother, see XXV, 85, and XXVIII, 112. See also JW’s letter of April 13, below.

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