Life Of Benjamin Franklin: Footnote 54

The whole of the letter to Dr. Brownrigg is curious, containing anecdotes, and details of experiments. See Vol. VI. p. 357. Dr. Franklin did not pretend to have discovered this property of oil. He had read, when a youth, Pliny's "account of a practice among seamen of his time to still the waves in a storm by pouring oil into the sea," and had heard of a similar practice among seamen and fishermen in modern times. But he. seems to have been the first who tried experiments with the view of ascertaining the fact and who attempted to explain its cause.

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