Joseph Priestley Quotes

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Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The greater part of critics are parasites, who, if nothing had been written, would find nothing to write. -Joseph Priestley
Like its politicians and its war, society has the teenagers it deserves -Joseph Priestley
As every circumstance relating to so capital a discovery as this (the greatest, perhaps, that has been made in the whole compass of philosophy, since the time of Sir Isaac Newton) cannot but give pleasure to all my readers, I shall endeavour to gratify them with the communication of a few particulars which I have from the best authority. The Doctor, after having published his method of verifying his hypothesis concerning the sameness of electricity with the matter lightning, was waiting for the erection of a spire in Philadelphia to carry his views into execution; not imagining that a pointed rod, of a moderate height, could answer the purpose; when it occurred to him, that, by means of a common kite, he could have a readier and better access to the regions of thunder than by any spire whatever. Preparing, therefore, a large silk handkerchief, and two cross sticks, of a proper length, on which to extend it, he took the opportunity of the first approaching thunder storm to take a walk into a field, in which there was a shed convenient for his purpose. But dreading the ridicule which too commonly attends unsuccessful attempts in science, he communicated his intended experiment to no body but his son, who assisted him in raising the kite. The kite being raised, a considerable time elapsed before there was any appearance of its being electrified. One very promising cloud passed over it without any effect; when, at length, just as he was beginning to despair of his contrivance, he observed some loose threads of the hempen string to stand erect, and to avoid one another, just as if they had been suspended on a common conductor. Struck with this promising appearance, he immediately presented his knuckle to the key, and (let the reader judge of the exquisite pleasure he must have felt at that moment) the discovery was complete. He perceived a very evident electric spark. Others succeeded, even before the string was wet, so as to put the matter past all dispute, and when the rain had wetted the string, he collected electric fire very copiously. This happened in June 1752, a month after the electricians in France had verified the same theory, but before he had heard of any thing that they had done.

Joseph Priestley
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We should like to have some towering geniuses, to reveal us to ourselves in color and fire... -Joseph Priestley
It is no use speaking in soft, gentle tones if everyone else is shouting. -Joseph Priestley
In completing one discovery we never fail to get an imperfect knowledge of others. -Joseph Priestley
What I have known with respect to myself, has tended much to lessen both my admiration, and my contempt, of others. -Joseph Priestley
Will is nothing more than a particular case of the general doctrine of association of ideas, and therefore a perfectly mechanical thing. -Joseph Priestley
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