The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 32
Volume 32: March 1 through June 30, 1780
Imprint: Yale University Press
Series: The Papers of Benjamin Franklin
Demonstrating wide-ranging talents and activities, Franklin's correspondence is singular in scope and interest. Working purposefully to surmount one difficulty after another, Franklin sought a general prisoner exchange, assisted escaped prisoners, drafted passports, honored bills that were presented to him for payment, and remained involved in the effort to assemble and ship uniforms, arms, and gunpowder to America. During these months he also bought an entire type foundry, purchased two presses, conferred about a script type he had commissioned, received shipments of paper and type from England in spite of the war, designed a method to determine the conductivity of metals, submitted to the Académie des sciences a lengthy memoir on lightning rods for the Strasbourg Cathedral, and penned a jocular essay on 'inflammable air' in response to a Royal Academy of Brussels mathematical prize question that he regarded as frivolous.