A short essay by Benjamin Franklin, published in Poor Richard's Almanack, telling how to build a "striking sun dial" in which "not only you, but all the neighbors for many miles around can tell what o'clock it is". It sounded reasonable at first, but it began to expose itself as satire after it was made clear that 78 guns would be needed for the project. He closed by stating that many public-service projects are like the sundial with "great cost for little profit." Compare A Modest Proposal.

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