Please forward this error screen to 69. United States Darkness at noon essay 15 U. You often entertain us with accounts of new discoveries. Permit
Please forward this error screen to 69. United States Darkness at noon essay 15 U.
You often entertain us with accounts of new discoveries. Permit me to communicate to the public, through your paper, one that has lately been made by myself, and which I conceive may be of great utility. I was the other evening in a grand company, where the new lamp of Messrs. No one present could satisfy us in that point, which all agreed ought to be known, it being a very desirable thing to lessen, if possible, the expense of lighting our apartments, when every other article of family expense was so much augmented. I was pleased to see this general concern for economy, for I love economy exceedingly.
I went home, and to bed, three or four hours after midnight, with my head full of the subject. I perceived the light came in at the windows. I got up and looked out to see what might be the occasion of it, when I saw the sun just rising above the horizon, from whence he poured his rays plentifully into my chamber, my domestic having negligently omitted, the preceding evening, to close the shutters. I looked into the almanac, where I found it to be the hour given for his rising on that day. I am certain of my fact.
One cannot be more certain of any fact. I saw it with my own eyes. And, having repeated this observation the three following mornings, I found always precisely the same result. Yet it so happens, that when I speak of this discovery to others, I can easily perceive by their countenances, though they forbear expressing it in words, that they do not quite believe me.
I might, by that means, have been deceived. I made, as above mentioned, confirmed me in my first opinion. This event has given rise in my mind to several serious and important reflections. I was master of, and to make some calculations, which I shall give you, after observing that utility is, in my opinion the test of value in matters of invention, and that a discovery which can be applied to no use, or is not good for something, is good for nothing. I took for the basis of my calculation the supposition that there are one hundred thousand families in Paris, and that these families consume in the night half a pound of bougies, or candles, per hour. I believe some consume less, I know that many consume a great deal more. Paris might save every year, by the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.
Let a tax be laid of a louis per window, on every window that is provided with shutters to keep out the light of the sun. But this sum of ninety-six millions and seventy-five thousand livres is not the whole of what may be saved by my economical project. You may observe, that I have calculated upon only one half of the year, and much may be saved in the other, though the days are shorter. Besides, the immense stock of wax and tallow left unconsumed during the summer, will probably make candles much cheaper for the ensuing winter, and continue them cheaper as long as the proposed reformation shall be supported.