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Image State Oxford Science Archive (1554)

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EN_01350843_0001 IMA
William Gilbert, English physician, late 16th century. Pictured with his hand resting on a globe. Gilbert established the magnetic nature of the Earth in De Magnete (1600) and conjectured that terrestrial magnetism and electricity were two allied emanations of a single force. The first to use the terms 'electricity', 'electric force' and 'electric attraction', he also pointed out that amber is not the only substance which attracts light objects when rubbed. The Gilbert force of magnetomotive power is named after him.
EN_01350843_0002 IMA
Jons Jacob Berzelius, Swedish chemist, early 19th century. Berzelius devised the first consistently accurate method of using the oxidation technique developed by Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac and Louis Jacques Thenard; a technique which allowed surveys of organic composition to be made. His accurate determination of atomic weights established the laws of combination and John Dalton's atomic theory. He introduced modern chemical symbols and discovered the elements selenium, thorium and cerium.
EN_01350843_0003 IMA
Marie and Pierre Curie, physicists, 1904. Photograph with their daughter Irene. Curie and her husband Pierre continued the work on radioactivity started by H Becquerel. In 1898, they discovered two new elements, polonium and radium. Marie did most of the work of producing these elements, and her notebooks are still too radioactive to use. She went on to become the first woman to be awarded a doctorate in France, and continued her work after Pierre's death. In 1903 they shared the Nobel Prize for Physics with Becquerel.
EN_01350843_0004 IMA
Niccolo Tartaglia, Italian mathematician and mechanician, 1550s. Among the finest achievements of Tartaglia is his 1556 publication Trattato Generale, considered the best mathematical compilation of its time. It covered arithmetic, mensuration, geometry and algebra, and was a valuable synthesis of the practical and commercial mathematics of his century. Tartaglia published the first translation of Euclid into Italian and the first Latin edition of Archimedes. Plate taken from Momenta Pulveris Pyrll.
EN_01350843_0005 IMA
Thomas Henry Huxley, 1893. Leaning on a pile of books and holding a skull. English scientist remembered as 'Darwin's Bulldog'. Huxley was the main supporter of Darwin and did more than anyone else to break down religious and obscurantist opposition to the theory of evolution. He produced over 150 research papers on a wide range of subjects, mainly zoological and palaeontological, but also geological, anthropological and botanical.
EN_01350843_0006 IMA
Sir Frederick William Herschel, 1800s. Herschel, the German-born British astronomer, constructed his own telescope after taking up astronomy as a hobby. As well as discovering the planet Uranus in 1781 and two of its satellites, Herschel performed a major study of Saturn, during which he discovered two satellites, the rotation of the planetary rings and the period of the planet's rotation. He also catalogued and investigated the motions of binary stars, the results of which are still in use.
EN_01350843_0007 IMA
Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer and physicist, 1635. One of the greatest scientists of all time, Galileo discovered Jupiter's moons and the laws governing falling bodies.
EN_01350843_0008 IMA
Sketch of the moon by Galileo Galilei, c1635. Galileo Galilei, the Italian astronomer and physicist is one of the greatest scientists of all time. He discovered Jupiter's moons and the laws governing falling bodies.
EN_01350843_0009 IMA
Samuel Franklin Cody, 1912. American-born Cody invented the manlifting kite as a means for military observation. On 16 October 1908 he made the first powered flight in Britain in his British Army Aeroplane No.1, using a 50-hp Antoinette engine. Photograph of Cody at military trials, 1912.
EN_01350843_0010 IMA
Roger Bacon, philosopher and scientist, 1786. Bacon is often regarded as the first modern scientist. He has been associated with scientific inventions like the magnifying glass, microscopes and telescopes. His views on the primacy of mathematical proof and on experimentalism, found in his published works, are often considered strikingly modern.
EN_01350843_0011 IMA
Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer, c1586. Plate from Opera Onmia (Vol IV, written in 1586, Unraniborg, Denmark] by Tycho Brahe. Considered to be the greatest pre-telescope observer, Brahe's contributions to astronomy were enormous. Not only did he revolutionise astronomical instrumentation, by emphasising the importance of accuracy for the first time, but also profoundly changed observational practice. He was the first to observe the orbits of the moon and planets, and the first to make corrections for atmospheric refraction.
EN_01350843_0012 IMA
Daniel Turner, MD, LRCP, physician, 1717. Turner was a physician and member of the Barber-Surgeons' Company who published medical works. From the frontispiece of Turner's book Syphillis.
EN_01350843_0013 IMA
Joseph Jackson Lister, English wine merchant and amateur microscopist, 1830s. Photographed with a microscope. Lister, father of Joseph Lister, was a wine merchant who maintained an interest in optics. He developed a system of building a lens that reduced chromatic and spherical aberrations. An improved version of Lister's microscope was built by James Smith in 1826 and in 1832, Lister became a fellow of the Royal Society.
EN_01350843_0014 IMA
Sir John Lawes, English scientific agriculturalist, 1882. From Vanity Fair, published on 8th July 1882.
EN_01350843_0015 IMA
Frontispiece from Athanasius Kircher's Ars Magna Lucis Et Umbrae. To the left is a woman as the personification of the sun, with the symbols of the zodiac covering her body. To the right is a woman as a personification of the moon covered in stars. Below her sits two peacocks. Rays of light hit various lenses which reflects Kircher's discoveries. Kircher demonstrated that by placing a lens between a screen and a mirror which had been written on, a sharp but inverted image of the text would appear on the screen. By using a spherical water-filled flask as a condenser to concentrate the light, Kircher found that texts painted on the mirror's surface could be projected by light from a candle after dark. These demonstrations eventually resulted in the birth of the magic lantern. Ars Magna Lucis Et Umbrae was published in 1646.
EN_01350843_0016 IMA
Daniel Rutherford, late 18th century. Rutherford, Scottish physicist and botanist, became professor of botany at Edinburgh University in 1786. His portrait is framed at the top by flowers. He discovered the distinction between 'noxious air' (nitrogen) and carbon dioxide, the details of which he published in 1772.
EN_01350843_0017 IMA
Richard Trevithick, English engineer and inventor, 1816. The painting shows him seated before a window, pointing to a view of mountains. Richard Trevithick designed the first locomotive to run on rails, as well as being a designer of steam road carriages and a large number of stationary steam engines.
EN_01350843_0018 IMA
Thomas Willis, physician, 1742. To the left of his portrait are parts of a skull and a diagram of the spine and ribcage. To the right are several books, one open at a page to show a particular diagram. Willis was the first to distinguish the form of diabetes known as 'diabetes mellitus' and carried out pioneering studies into the anatomy of the brain. He also worked on diseases of the nervous system and muscles and became professor of natural philosophy at Oxford in 1660. He was also founder of the Royal Society.
EN_01350843_0019 IMA
Professor Sir Richard Owen, FRS, KCB, naturalist, 1873. Entitled 'Men of the Day, No 57: Old Bones', showing the naturalist and author Richard Owen, who attacked Darwin's Origin of Species. His many positions included appointment as the first Hunterian Professor of Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, the second Conservator of the Hunterian Museum and Director of the Department of Natural History at the British Museum, transferring the natural history collections to South Kensington in 1881. Cartoon from Vanity Fair.
EN_01350843_0020 IMA
Sir John Herschel, astronomer and scientist, 1810s. Portrait of John Herschel as a young man. The son of astronomer Sir William Herschel, John Herschel discovered 525 nebulae and clusters. He pioneered celestial photography, introducing 'hypo' (thiosulphate) as a photographic fixative. He discovered the cyanotype or blueprint process in 1842, and carried out research on photo-active chemicals and the wave theory of light.
EN_01350843_0021 IMA
Sir William Herschel, astronomer, 1790s. Holding a diagram of planets and their planetry rings. Herschel constructed his own telescope after taking up astronomy as a hobby. As well as discovering the planet Uranus in 1781 and two of its satellites, he performed a major study of Saturn. He discovered two satellites, the rotation of the planetary rings and the period of the planet's rotation. He also catalogued and investigated the motions of binary stars, the results of which are still in use.
EN_01350843_0022 IMA
John Ray, English naturalist, 1680s. Illustrated plate from the 1703 edition of Methodus Pantarum Nova by John Ray, first published in 1682. Ray was a naturalist and the pioneer of plant taxonomy. He toured Europe extensively, studying flora and fauna - his botanical work includes the study of some 18,600 species. Ray had the view that fossils were the petrified remains of animals and plants, although this was not actually accepted until a century later.
EN_01350843_0023 IMA
John Dollond, optician, c1750. Pictured with a book with an overhanging leaf with ther word Opticks on it. Dolland became known for his invention of the achromatic lens. Father of Peter Dollond and grandfather of George Dollond, who also worked as opticians.
EN_01350843_0024 IMA
Sir Christopher Wren, English architect, c1680. Christopher Wren (1632-1723) rebuilt fifty-one churches in the City of London after the Great Fire, constructed the new St Paul's Cathedral, the Royal Hospital at Greenwich and made various additions to Hampton Court Palace.
EN_01350843_0025 IMA
Sir Joseph John Thomson, British physicist and inventor, 1900. Thomson studied sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge. After graduating, he continued to work at Cambridge University and in 1896 began experiments on cathode rays, demonstrating that they were in fact particles with a negative charge and were much smaller than an atom. These particles were later renamed electrons. In 1906, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.
EN_01350843_0026 IMA
Vincenzo Lunardi, c1770, was an Italian diplomat who, on 15 September 1784, made the first British ascent in a hydrogen balloon.
EN_01350843_0027 IMA
Orville Wright, 1903. American aviation pioneer, Wright and his brother Wilbur originally designed and built bicycles but changed their interest to flying, producing a controllable glider by 1902, and a year later the first aircraft, Flyer I. This was piloted by Orville on 17 December 1903 in the first powered and controlled aircraft flight. The Flyer III, built in 1905, was the first efficient aeroplane and by 1909 the American army had ordered a military version.
EN_01350843_0028 IMA
James Watt as a young man, c1769. Watt was a Scottish engineer and instrument maker who invented the modern steam engine which became the main source of power in Britain's textile mills. His engine had a separate condenser in which steam from the cylinder was passed and cooled allowing the engine to be kept hot, reducing fuel consumption and saving time.
EN_01350843_0029 IMA
Santorio Sanctorius, c1728. Italian physician and the founder of quantitative measurement in medicine. Sanctorius was the first to use a thermometer to measure body temperature, and also invented various instruments, including a hygrometer and a water-bed. From Ars de Statica Medicina, 1728.
EN_01350843_0030 IMA
Lord Kelvin and his compass, 1902. Kelvin was born William Thomson and was educated at Glasgow and Cambridge. He was professor of Natural Philosophy (Physics) at the University of Glasgow for 53 years. Kelvin was a pioneer of thermodynamics and electromagnetic theory. He also directed work on the first transatlantic cable telegraph, which gave him considerable wealth. He was probably the first scientist to become wealthy through his work. He turned to improving his compass comparitively late in life. His compass had a very light card giving a long period of oscillation. It was mounted in a binnacle fitted with magnets and spheres and was much more accurate than previous compasses.
EN_01350843_0031 IMA
Alfred Bernhard Nobel, c1880s. In 1866 Swedish chemist and industrialist Nobel invented a safe and manageable form of nitroglycerin he called dynamite. Later, he invented smokeless gunpowder and gelignite (1875). Nobel helped to create an industrial empire manufacturing explosives and amassed a large fortune, much of which he left to fund the Nobel Prizes, which were first awarded in 1901. Awards were given for excellence in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace.
EN_01350843_0032 IMA
Robert Bunsen, German chemist, 1850s. Signed portrait; Bunsen (1811-1899) is widely considered one of the greatest experimental chemists of the 19th century. He was a pioneer of chemical spectroscopy, and the inventor of the Bunsen cell, the Bunsen ice calorimeter and the Bunsen burner. Spectroscopy is the branch of science concerned with the investigation and measurement of spectra produced when matter interacts with or emits electromagnetic radiation.
EN_01350843_0033 IMA
Sir David Brewster, Scottish physicist, 1800s. Brewster is chiefly remembered for his lifelong investigations into optics. He invented the kaleidoscope and improved the stereoscope by introducing refracting lenses. He was also a leading figure in the popularisation of science in Britain during the 19th century, and played a central role in the founding of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
EN_01350843_0034 IMA
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, English engineer, c1850s. Brunel surrounded by vignettes of some of his most significant projects - the steamships 'Great Eastern', 'Great Britain', and 'Great Western' and the Saltash and Hungerford bridges. Brunel initially work for his father Marc Isambard Brunel on the construction of the Thames Tunnel. He was the chief engineer of the Great Western Railway (GWR) from 1833 to 1858, for whom he designed many bridges and viaducts, including the Royal Albert Bridge, Cornwall, and Clifton Suspension Bridge.
EN_01350843_0035 IMA
Joseph Black, Scottish chemist, c1780s. Black was appointed Professor of Anatomy and Chemistry at the University of Glasgow in 1756, and, in 1766, Professor of Medicine and Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. Whilst at Edinburgh, Black discovered the gas carbon dioxide, which he described as 'fixed air'. He is widely considered to be the 'father' of quantitative chemistry.
EN_01350843_0036 IMA
Matthew Boulton, engineer and industrialist, c1801. Works owner Matthew Boulton and Scottish engineer and inventor, James Watt formed a partnership in 1773 to produce steam engines. Boulton's factory at Soho, near Birmingham, produced the first of the revolutionary steam engines designed by Watt. By the early 19th century over 500 Boulton and Watt engines were being used in Britain's mines and factories.
EN_01350843_0037 IMA
John Flamsteed, astronomer, 1712. Flamsteed was appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England by Charles II, on the founding of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, in 1675. Born in Denby, Derbyshire, he was educated at Cambridge University before being appointed Astronomer Royal. Data collected at the Royal Observatory by Flamsteed was used by Isaac Newton to verify his theory of gravity.
EN_01350843_0038 IMA
Samuel Crompton, English inventor of the spinning mule, c1880s. Between 1772 and 1779 Crompton invented the spinning mule frame, a cross between James Hargreaves' spinning jenny and Richard Arkwright's water-frame spinning machine. The spinning mule made it possible to spin almost any type of yarn very quickly.
EN_01350843_0039 IMA
Henry Ford, American automobile engineer and manufacturer, 1908. In 1903, Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company. He pioneered modern 'assembly line' mass production techniques for his famous Model T motor car. Fifteen million Model T motor cars were produced between 1908 and 1928.
EN_01350843_0040 IMA
Christiaan Huygens, Dutch physicist, c1670. Huygens was responsible for two great advances in horology: the application of both the pendulum to the clock and the balance spring to the watch. The clockmaker, Salomon Coster of the Hague, made Huygen's first pendulum clock, and a patent was issued in Coster's name in 1657.
EN_01350843_0041 IMA
Sir William Crookes, English physicist and chemist, c1900s. After studying at the Royal College of Chemistry, London, Crookes went on to make significant contributions in several fields of science. He invented the radiometer (1873-1876), a device that responds to light or other electromagnetic radiation (which led to research in vacuum physics), and the spinthariscope (1903) which made individual alpha particles visible. He also discovered the element thallium, and was an authority on sanitation and agriculture. This is a cartoon from the magazine Vanity Fair.
EN_01350843_0042 IMA
Peter Dollond, optician, c1800. This engraving was published in the European Magazine in 1820. Dollond worked with both his father John Dollond and uncle George Dollond. In 1765 he invented the triple achromatic lens by combining two convex lenses of crown glass with one double-concave lens of flint glass. In 1758 he presented his achromatic telescope to the Royal Society and was awarded the Copley Medal. He improved the astronomical refracting telescope and navigation instruments.
EN_01350843_0043 IMA
Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society (PRS), botanist, 1800s. Banks travelled to Newfoundland in 1766 on an expedition to collect plants. Between 1768 and 1771 he made a round the world voyage alongside Captain James Cook on the ship, The Endeavour. He also travelled to the Hebrides and Iceland. In 1778 he became president of the Royal Society, a post he kept for 41 years. He established the African Association, and played an important part in the foundation of the colony of New South Wales, Australia.
EN_01350843_0044 IMA
Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim Paracelsus, Swiss alchemist, physician and pioneer of medical chemistry, 16th century. Whilst City Physician in Basle, Switzerland, Paracelsus propounded the theory that alchemy should be used to prepare effective medicines, as well as transmitting base metal into gold. However, after offending the city fathers there, a legal case forced him to leave and he eventually died in Salzburg, Austria.
EN_01350843_0045 IMA
Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, Dutch pioneer of microscopy, c1660. It was probably as a result of his use of lenses in examining cloth as a draper's apprentice that led to Leeuwenhoek's interest in lens making. Using microscopes he assembled himself, he discovered the existence of protozoa (1674), bacteria in tooth tartar (1676), blood corpuscles (1674) and blood capillaries (1683), among many other observations. In 1680 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his work.
EN_01350843_0046 IMA
Sir Isaac Newton, English scientist and mathematician, c1700. Newton's discoveries were prolific and exerted a huge influence on science and thought. His theories of gravity and his three laws of motion were outlined in his greatest work, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, (1687) and he is credited with discovering differential calculus. Knighted by Queen Anne in 1705, Newton is buried in Westminster Abbey, London.
EN_01350843_0047 IMA
Eadweard James Muybridge, British-American photography pioneer, 1889. Muybridge lecturing at the Royal Society in London. After emigrating to America in 1852, Muybridge became a professional photographer and was eventually appointed chief photographer for the United States government. In 1877, he used a series of still photographs to show that a trotting horse at times has all its feet off the ground, and in 1880 he devised the zoopraxiscope, a precurser of cinematography. Plate taken from The Illustrated London News, (1889).
EN_01350843_0048 IMA
Sir Richard Owen, English zoologist, c1860. Owen studied medicine at Edinburgh and at St Bartholomew's and became curator in the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons where he produced a fine series of descriptive catalogues. In 1856, he became superintendant of the natural history departments of the British Museum, but continued to teach at the Royal Institution and elsewhere. A pre-Darwinian, he maintained a hostile attitude to detailed evolutionist theories.
EN_01350843_0049 IMA
Sir Humphrey Davy, English chemist, 1803. Whilst at the Pneumatic Institute in Bristol, Davy discovered the anaesthetic effects of laughing gas (nitrous oxide). In 1801, he was appointed lecturer at the Royal Institution, where he isolated the metals barium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and strontium, but it is his invention in 1815 of the miners' safety lamp (which enabled deeper, more gaseous seams to be mined without risk of explosion) for which he is perhaps best known.
EN_01350843_0050 IMA
'First carriage, Ariel', 1843, showing a fictitious flight of William Henson's Aerial Steam Carriage over a city. Henson patented his Aerial Steam Carriage in 1842, and although the machine would never have been able to fly (the wings would not have been strong enough to take the weight of the steam engine needed to power it), his pioneering design laid the foundations for the modern monoplane.
EN_01350843_0051 IMA
Turning wood, 1754, taken from the New and Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences - Supplement (1754) by J Barlow. The plate shows two scenes of wood turning with two different kinds of treadle lathe in a workshop amid hand tools.
EN_01350843_0052 IMA
'The Black Country' near Bilston, Staffordshire, 1869, showing a scene of heavy industry at night with smoking chimneys, fire from gas outlets and hot coals, with a wheeled engine to right. Bilston, which is now part of Wolverhampton, was an area dominated by coal mining and iron manufacturing.
EN_01350843_0053 IMA
Sir Joseph Wilson Swan, scientist and inventor, c1900. Swan invented the incandescent electric lamp in Britain at about the same time as Thomas Edison patented it in the USA. He also invented a vacuum pump for light bulbs and several photographic processes. Later, Edison joined up with Swan to form the Edison & Swan United Electric Light Company.
EN_01350843_0054 IMA
Natives of the Sandwich Islands, Hawaii, slaughtering swine before Captain Cook, c1778. Captain James Cook, the famed navigator and hydrographer, transformed our knowledge of the Pacific region. The principal aim of this, his his third voyage, was to find a northern sea passage between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Having set sail from Hawaii in 1779, Cook returned to the islands after his ship 'Resolution' suffered storm damage, after which a fight broke out and he was stabbed to death.
EN_01350843_0055 IMA
Pewter-making, c1750s. Plate taken from volume VIII of Encyclopedie, ou Dictionnaire Raisonne de Science, des Arts et des Metiers, edited by Denis Diderot and Jean d'Alembert and published in 14 volumes between 1751 and 1765. Diderot and d'Alembert's Le Grand Encyclopedie was more than a summary of all contemporary knowledge, it served as a manifesto for a new way of looking at the world by depicting and describing many of the instruments and processes which transformed the world during the Industrial Revolution.
EN_01350843_0056 IMA
Tay Bridge disaster, Scotland, 28 December 1879. Illustration taken from the Illustrated London News, (3 January 1880), entitled 'Pieces of wreck cast up on the beach at Broughty Ferry'. Designed by the engineer Thomas Bouch and completed in 1878, the Tay Bridge was just under two miles in length and was considered the longest bridge in the world. However, it proved lacking in stability against wind loadings. On 28 December 1879, as the Edinburgh to Dundee train was crossing the bridge during strong gales, the structure collapsed, killing all 75 passengers.
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Tay Bridge disaster, Scotland, 28 December 1879. Illustration taken from the Illustrated London News, (3 January 1880), entitled 'View of the broken bridge from the north end'. Designed by the engineer Thomas Bouch and completed in 1878, the Tay Bridge was just under two miles in length and was considered the longest bridge in the world. However, it proved lacking in stability against wind loadings. On 28 December 1879, as the Edinburgh to Dundee train was crossing the bridge during strong gales, the structure collapsed, killing all 75 passengers.
EN_01350843_0058 IMA
Tay Bridge disaster, Scotland, 28 December 1879. Illustration taken from the Illustrated London News, (3 January 1880), entitled 'Steam launches and divers' barge employed in the search'. Designed by the engineer Thomas Bouch and completed in 1878, the Tay Bridge was just under two miles in length and was considered the longest bridge in the world. However, it proved lacking in stability against wind loadings. On 28 December 1879, as the Edinburgh to Dundee train was crossing the bridge during strong gales, the structure collapsed, killing all 75 passengers.
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The Great Western Railway disaster at Thorpe near Norwich, 10 September 1874. Front page illustration taken from the Illustrated London News, (Vol 65, 19 September, 1874), entitled 'Extracting the Dead and Wounded'. One of the worst head-on collisions in British railway history occurred on 10 September 1874, between Norwich Thorpe and Brundall stations, when two trains were mistakenly dispatched from either end of the single line, killing 25 people and injuring 75.
EN_01350843_0060 IMA
'Over London-By Rail', 1872. Showing men and women in the back yards of tenements in the East End of London, with a steam locomotive passing over a bridge in the background. Taken from London: A Pilgrimage by Blanchard Jerrold and Gustave Dorй. A Pilgrimage was a comprehensive portrait of London, but although the book was a commercial success many of the critics disliked it. Several were upset that Jerrold and Dorй had concentrated on the poverty that existed in London.
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'Warehousing in the City', 1872; showing warehouse workers using rope pulleys to hoist barrels and packages at a warehouse in the City of London. Taken from London: A Pilgrimage by Blanchard Jerrold and Gustave Dorй. A Pilgrimage was a comprehensive portrait of London, but although the book was a commercial success many of the critics disliked it. Several were upset that Jerrold and Dorй had concentrated on the poverty that existed in London.
EN_01350843_0062 IMA
Brandreth's horse powered locomotive 'Cycloped', 1829. Plate taken from History and Progress of the Steam Engine, 1831 by Elijah Galloway. The Cycloped, owned by Thomas Brandreth, took part in the Rainhill Trials of 1829 which was a competition to find the most suitable locomotive for haulage on the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. Powered by a horse walking on a drive belt, it was withdrawn from the competition after the horse fell through the belt after only reaching a speed of five miles per hour. The competition was won by Stephenson's 'Rocket'.
EN_01350843_0063 IMA
'Break of Gauge at Gloucester', Gloucestershire, 6th June 1846. Plate taken from the Illustrated London News (6 June 1846) showing passengers and luggage being transferred from broad gauge to narrow gauge carriages at Gloucester station, on their way to Birmingham. Narrow gauge became the uniform railway line gauge nationally. Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the engineer of the Great Western Railway (GWR) had laid broad gauge track, meaning that passengers on the GWR had to be transferred to trains that ran on narrow gauge where necessary.
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Model of a joiner's hand saw, c1816. The saw is marked with a crown and 'WR patent', and has a steel blade and brass handle. Photographed with a coin for scale.
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'Galileo's thermometer', 1592. A 1994 copy of the air thermometer made by Galileo Galilei, the celebrated Italian scientist. This was probably the first instrument made for the measurement of temperature and consisted of a long thin glass tube fitted with a number of glass balls weighted to be of different densities in a liquid and arranged to sink one after the other as the temperature rose. This thermometer is more accurately known as a 'termometro infingardo'.
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'Experiments with Fairlie's steam carriage for short distances', August 1869. A steam carriage designed and built by the Scottish locomotive engineer Robert Fairlie (1831-1885), during tests at Hatcham Ironworks in London, on a small oval track (under 600 feet in circumference). The carriage was 43 feet in length, including a compartment for the guard, carried 66 passengers, and altogether weighed only 13.5 tons.
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Systeme de Descartes, 1761. A hand- coloured engraving showing a chart of Descartes' planetary system c1600s. Rene Descartes was a French philosopher and mathematician. He is regarded as one of the great figures in the history of Western thought, and is widely considered to be the father of modern philosophy.
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Solar eclipse seen over the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 1858. The picture, viewed from the Isle of Dogs, shows the Royal Naval College and River Thames in the foreground. This particular plate was taken from London Illustrated News, Vol 32, 1858.
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Solar Eclipse Observatory, Nicobar Islands, c1875. Showing various illustrations including The Equatorial Camera, Brownings Reflector and Spectroscopic Camera and Sig Tacchini's Observatory. Other geographical scenes include the village of Malakka, and views from observation stations. This plate was taken from Illustrated London News, Vol 66, 1875.
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Public witness of the solar eclipse, London, c1870. Depicting a street scene with a crowd of people all gazing up at the sky. This plate was taken from Illustrated London News, Vol 57.
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Principal Observatory, Siam, 1875. Illustrating the observatory at Chulai Point, in modern day Thailand, used to examine the Transit of Venus in November 1875. Plate taken from the Illustrated London News, Volume 66, 19 June 1875.
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The Kew heliograph being used in an eclipse- viewing expedition to Spain, 1860. Depicting a temporary observation point with the Kew heliograph inside, surrounded by astronomers. This plate was taken from the Illustrated London News, volume 37, 1860.
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Astronomical Observatory, 1814. Telescopes of various sizes and a revolving globe sit in the interior of a circular observatory. An interesting set of stairs lead up onto a higher balcony, and shutters cover the windows. From R Ackerman's History of Oxford.
EN_01350843_0074 IMA
'Fire in London', 1791. The building on fire was Albion Mills, a corn mill erected by Matthew Boulton at the foot of Blackfriars Bridge in 1786. The largest and best- equipped mill of its time, it was also the site of the first installation of steam power to drive machinery. The mill's destruction by fire also illustrates the fire-fighting teams of the day. Some eight manual Newsham fire engines are attempting to fight the flames, with others rushing to the scene from across the bridge. In the background is the River Thames and St Paul's cathedral on the opposite bank. From The Microcosm of London by Rudolph Ackermann.
EN_01350843_0075 IMA
Bell's improved reaping machine by Crosskill, c1840s. A farmer operates the machine by guiding two horses behind which push the harvester forward. This machine designed by Patrick Bell (1799- 1869), was one of the first practical reaping machines to incorporate features that are still seen on modern combine harvesters. Bell and Cyrus McCormick both put reaping machines into the Great Exhibition (1851), they helped lead to the widespread acceptance of mechanised reaping in England.
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'Garrett & Son's Double-Cylinder Steam Ploughing Engine and Tackle', c1862. Men lay out a system of ropes or cords connected to a steam engine. The accompanying text announces that 'Richard Garrett & Son have recently arranged for the manufacture of steam cultivating apparatus, with the latest improvements, under Messrs Howard's various patents'. Plate from 'Exhibition London 1862 - Illustrated Catalogue' (Vol 1 part 5, 1862).
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Alberto Santos-Dumont and his airship, 1901. Caricature of Alberto Santos-Dumont, the Brazilian pioneer in airship and aeroplane flights. He is shown flying in the basket of his airship. From the magazine Vanity Fair.
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Dr Lyon Playfair, (c1850-c1880?). This eminent Victorian rose from being a chemist in the Geological Survey in 1845, to become Secretary for Science and Art in 1855 and president of the Chemical Society in 1857. He discovered the nitroprussides class of salts and took part in organising the Great Exhibition of 1851. He was Professor of Chemistry at Edinburgh from 1858 to 1896 and ended his career as Chairman and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.
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John Hunter, FRS, (c1850-c1870?). Portrait of the Scottish surgeon and anatomist. His unique series of lectures on the theory and practice of surgery attracted numerous students, including Edward Jenner, Astley Cooper, and John Abernethy, who would continue his methods.
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'Thomas Linacre, MD', 1847. Portrait of the physician to Henry VIII who founded the Royal College of Physicians in 1518. He was also a classical scholar, a translator from Greek, and the author of several works on grammar and medicine.
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Elizabeth Fry, 1844. Elizabeth Fry was a Quaker minister and prison reformer, who was also famous for introducing more humane conditions for the voyage of convicts to New South Wales and alleviating the condition of vagrants in London and Brighton. She instituted the Order of Nursing Sisters.
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John Hunter, 1786. Scottish surgeon and anatomist whose series of lectures on the theory and practice of surgery attracted numerous students, including Edward Jenner, Astley Cooper, and John Abernethy, who would continue his methods. He counted Sir Joshua Reynolds and Joseph Hayden among his friends. After his sudden death his manuscripts were destroyed, but his collection was bought by the nation and acquired by the College of Surgeons in 1800.
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William Harvey demonstrating to King Charles I his theory of the circulation of the blood, 1851. The English physician William Harvey MD, FRCP, was attached to St Bartholomew's Hospital, and was physician to both James I and Charles I. Best known for discovering the circulation of the blood, made public in 1616, Harvey also superintended the physical examination of women accused of witchcraft and built a library for the Royal College of Physicians.
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Galileo Galilei, 1623. Portrait of the astronomer Galileo, with a beard and fur collar, shown within an oval frame with Italian text. Two cherubs appear above; one writes in a book and holds a sextant, the other also holds a book and looks through a telescope. Other decorative features include grotesque faces and designs. Plate taken from Il Saggiatore (The Assayer), written by Galileo Galilei, published by the Lincean Academy, 1623. Il Saggiatore is considered one of the greatest polemics in science. The book is addressed to Virginio Cesarini who wrote to Galileo in 1619 praising him for showing him the road of truth. In the book, Galileo suggested a general scientific approach to the investigation of celestial phenomena and his achievements include the discovery of Jupiter's moons.
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John Harrison, c1835. Portrait of the English inventor and horologist wearing a wig. Harrison became famous for resolving one of the most problematic issues of his day - how to determine longitude while at sea. This was to take him over forty years, during which time he devised many other ways to improve the accuracy of time-keeping. The celebrated horologist is shown seated next to the H4 marine chronometer which was to make him world-famous.
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'Alexander Fleming Prix Nobel 1945'. Nobel prize medal awarded to bacteriologist Alexander Fleming. Fleming is shown in profile, in relief, with French text round the edge. In 1928 Fleming discovered penicillin but had to wait eleven years before Howard Florey and Sir Ernst Chain (with whom he shared the Nobel prize) perfected a method of producing the volatile drug, now known to the world as antibiotics. Fleming was appointed professor of bacteriology at London in 1938.
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Andreas Vesalius dissecting the muscles of the forearm of a cadaver, 1543. He exhibits a partly dissected arm of a taller man. Beside the arm, on the table, are instruments and a piece of text. From Vesalius's greatest work De humani corporis fabrica (On the Structure of the Human Body). which, with its detailed descriptions and magnificent illustrations set a new level of clarity and accuracy in the study of anatomy. Vesalius was Professor of anatomy and medicine at the University of Padua in Italy, later becoming court physician to the emperor Charles V and his son Philip II of Spain.
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An astrological chart, 1646. A man with his internal organs revealed standing in front of a circular chart. One hand has been replaced by a sun, the other hand is chained to a hand emerging from the sky. The months of the year and the zodiac signs are listed either side of the man. Plate taken from 'Ars Magna Lucis Et Umbrae' by Athanasius Kircher. Kircher demonstrated that by placing a lens between a screen and a mirror which had been written on, a sharp but inverted image of the text would appear on the screen. By using a spherical water-filled flask as a condenser to concentrate the light, Kircher found that texts painted on the mirror's surface could be projected by light from a candle after dark. These demonstrations eventually resulted in the birth of the magic lantern.
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Filling a mass grave at night during the Plague of London, c 1665. Showing a group of men with torches in a churchyard, preparing to empty the contents of a covered cart into an open grave. The Plague, also known as the Black Death, was a disease caused by Yersinia Pestis, an infection carried by fleas living as parasites on rats. The Plague hit London in late 1664, having ravaged Holland the previous year, and killed around 100,000 people in and around the city. The dead were collected at night and thrown into common burial graves.
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Hospital ward, Scutari, Turkey, 1856. Clean, light and airy ward at the Barracks Hospital in Scutari, (Uskudar), Marmara, Turkey. It was run by Florence Nightingale, who is in discussion with an army officer, left. Soldiers in bed are cared for by nurses, and there is even a stove where other soldiers are warming themselves and reading. There are cupboards for drugs and equipment. By imposing strict discipline and standards of sanitation, Florence Nightingale drastically reduced the hospital mortality rate.
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Mammal embryos, 1905. Dog, bat, hare and human embryos at various stages of development. Illustration from Ernst Haeckel's book; one of the first to sketch the genealogical tree of animals, Haeckel explained that the life history of the individual is a recapitulation of its historic evolution. Plate XIII from The Evolution of Man by Ernst Haeckel.
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'La Pharmacie Rustique', c1775. After a painting done in 1774 by G Locher, the composition shows a visit to a country chemist. Illustrated with the interior of Michael Schuppach's pharmacy in Basel, Switzerland, the picture shows a wealthy lady and gentlemen in consultation with the physician, who holds up a potion.
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'Le Chirugien de Campagne' ('The Country Surgeon'), c1747. Engraving by Thomas Major after David Teniers, showing the interior of a doctor's rooms. The walls are decorated with animals, potions and medical instruments, and a seated man is shown having his foot administered to by the doctor, who has various items of his equipment spread out on the floor around him.
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The aqueduct at Barton, near Manchester, 1793. A man and woman watch a boat being pulled over the aqueduct by a horse; their little boy plays with a dog.
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Falls View Suspension Bridge, Niagara, North America, c1869-c1889. It was the first bridge to be built below the Falls, on a site known as 'Falls View', which is within sight of the mighty Horseshoe Falls. It was the largest single span bridge until the Brooklyn Bridge was completed 14 years later. Opened in 1869, this bridge was built by Samuel Keefer to take visitors by foot and carriage to the famous Niagara Falls. The bridge collapsed into the river during a storm in 1889. Plate IV from Discoveries and Inventions of the 19th Century by Robert Routledge, (1877).
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'The Fife cantilever', c1880s. Showing the construction of the Forth Railway Bridge in Scotland. The bridge crosses the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh, and was constructed to connect the East Coast railway route between London and Aberdeen. It was designed by Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker, and is based on the cantilever principle. HRH The Prince of Wales (Edward VII), opened the bridge in 1890.
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The Britannia Tubular Bridge, Menai Strait, Wales, c1850. The Britannia Tubular Bridge with the Menai Suspension Bridge, a road bridge of 1826, in the background. A sailing ship and a steamship sail on the sea below. The Britannia Tubular Bridge was designed by Robert Stephenson and was completed in 1850. It was constructed to provide trains of the Chester and Holyhead Railway with a passageway across the Menai Straits from mainland Wales to Anglesey.
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'Brick Maker', 1808. A woman with a handcart goes to get clay; a man dumps his clay into a stirring mechanism which mixes the clay before it is shaped into bricks. The mechanism is powered by a blindfold horse. Plate 19 from The Costume of Great Britain by William Henry Pyne. (London,1808).
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'The Illuminations at the International Inventions Exhibition', 8th August 1885. Showing the large firework display that took place during the exhibition, the fireworks lighting up the sky and the large crowd watching the display. This was the first major international exhibition to have been held in London for a decade and was held at the Albert Hall galleries in South Kensington. It was published in the Illustrated London News.
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'La Salle des Illusions', Paris, September 1900. Illustration showing the electrical illuminations in the Hall of Illusions at the International Exhibition. The article by J Derome describes the interior of the International Exhibition in Paris, and also the various systems of suspension, involving mirrors and lights, demonstrating technical virtuosity, and creating the lighting spectacular. Plate taken from La Nature, No 1425, 1st September 1900.
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Child factory workers, 1814. Two children in aprons, carrying baskets. Behind them is a textile mill where they work. Plate XXXVI from The Costume of Yorkshire illustrated by a series of forty Engravings, being fac-similes of original drawings, with descriptions in English and French by George Walker of Seacroft. (London, 1814).
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'The Artist', c1845. An artist is shown at his easel. He is surrounded by other works of art and a bust on its pedestal. From 'Graphic Illustrations of Animals Showing Their Utility to Man', (London,1845).
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Human sacrifice on Tahiti in the South Pacific, c1773. Captain Cook and his officers watching a group of Tahitians chanting as a man and some pigs are prepared for sacrifice on the island of Otaheite (Tahiti). This is one of the events witnessed by Captain James Cook, the famed navigator and hydrographer, during the second of his three exploratory voyages to the Pacific region in 1772-1775 when they crossed latitude 70 degrees - the furthest south then reached by Europeans. These voyages transformed our knowledge of the region.
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Chemical lecture; 'Scientific Researches! - New Discoveries in Pneumaticks! or - an Experimental Lecture on the Powers of Air!', 1802. A shocked audience witnesses experiments with laughing gas at the Royal Institution. A volunteer has a tube inserted into his mouth, the consequence of which is the blowing out of the seat of his trousers; a member of the audience holds his nose at the stink. Thomas Garnett is the lecturer and Humphry Davy is operating the hydraulic bellows filled with laughing gas. Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, the founder of the Royal Institution, is standing near the doorway.
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Telegraph wire at the Greenwich works, c1865. The plate is one of 26 illustrations by Robert Dudley in The Atlantic Telegraph, a book by WH Russell, 1866. This shows the reels of gutta percha-covered conducting wire being prepared to be taken for loading on to the Great Eastern, the steamship designed by Brunel. This was for the second attempt to lay a permanent transatlantic communications cable. The third attempt, the following year, was successful and reduced communication times from the length of a sea voyage to a few seconds.
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Louse clinging to a human hair in Hooke's Micrographia, 1665. Robert Hooke was born on the Isle of Wight, and studied at Oxford University. It was whilst at Oxford that he met Robert Boyle, and assisted him in the construction of an air pump. In 1660 he moved to London and two years later became one of the founder members of the Royal Society, at which he held the post of Curator of Experiments. Micrographia was published in 1665 and contains prints of some of the specimens Hooke viewed under the compound microscope that he designed.
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Camera obscura, 1646. A double camera obscura, rather out of scale, showing an image of a man burning in Hell. The image was produced by light from a lamp which travelled down the lens and through one of the movable slides to project the image onto the wall. These demonstrations eventually resulted in the birth of the magic lantern. Plate from Ars Magna Lucis Et Umbrae by Athanasius Kircher, (1646).
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PSS 'Great Eastern on the ocean', 1858. Colour print after a painting by Edwin Weedon. This steamship, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel with John Scott Russell, was lauched in 1858 and was the largest vessel afloat until she was broken up in 1888. Brunel had proposed to the Eastern Steam Navigation Company the construction of a steamship six times the size of any then in use. Built of iron, in Millwall, London, she was fitted with both paddle wheels and a screwpropeller. It was not until 1899 that her dimensions were exceeded by the SS 'Oceanic'.
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'The Double Lock and East Entrance to the Islington Tunnel, Regent's Canal', 1827; showing two horse drawn canal boats passing through the lock, approaching the tunnel. The Regent's Canal was built from 1812 and the Islington Tunnel, which at three quarters of a mile long (878 metres) is the longest canal tunnel in London, was completed in 1819. The first steam tug in Britain was introduced here in 1826.
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Servants' hiring office, Berlin, Germany, 1874. Illustration showing modestly dressed women at the door of a hiring office, talking and showing their references to prospective employers. Plate taken from the Illustrated London News, 28th November 1874. The adjoining article makes reference to the difficulties faced by women of the working class who try and find work in the penny-pinching households of Berlin. Whereas the house staff in London neighbourhoods enjoyed a far easier and more secure life than their German counterparts.
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Six early forms of bicycle, c1870. 19th century hobby horses, fore-runners of the bicycles, including the Dandy Horse, Gompertz's velocipede, the Dublin velocipede and the Bone-Shaker. The 'Dandy Horse' was invented by Baron von Drais in France in 1817, but was only popular for a short period as it was not practical or very comfortable. The velocipede (fast foot) appeared in 1865, and had pedals applied to the front wheels. It was popularly known as the 'Bone Shaker', the combination of wood and metal tyres and cobblestoned streets made for a very uncomfortable ride.
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Six early forms of bicycles and tricycles, 19th century. The cycles shown are the Otto Dicycle, the Rover Safety, Singer's Special Safety, the King of Clubs, the Humber Tricycle and Singer's Straight Steerer convertible. The Dicycle consists of two parallel wheels, with the saddle between them. The 'Rover' and 'Singer's Special' Safety show the return to a design based on two wheels of the same size, however, although safer, they were still far more uncomfortable than the high-wheel bicycles. The 'King of Clubs' had solid rubber tyres and provided a smoother ride, they were a success with affluent young men and had their hey-day in the 1880s.
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'The London Institution, Finsbury Circus', London, 1827. View of the front, with people, a horse and a dog. The London Institution was founded by subscription in 1805, and was for the 'advancement of literature and the diffusion of useful and polite knowledge'. The building was erected after a design by William Brooks and was opened in 1819. This print is dedicated to Professor John Millington who taught mechanics there from 1817 to 1829.
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Solar and lunar eclipses, 1785. Diagrams illustrating the causes and results of lunar and solar eclipses. From Astronomy Explained upon Newton's Principles (1785) by James Ferguson.
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'Lambeth Gas Works', 1872. Showing gas retorts, coal pods and workers. From the 19th century, manufactured gas was made by the distillation of coal. Taken from London: A Pilgrimage by Blanchard Jerrold and Gustave Dorй. A Pilgrimage was a comprehensive portrait of London, but although the book was a commercial success many of the critics disliked it. Several were upset that Jerrold and Dorй had concentrated on the poverty that existed in London.
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Grey drone-fly, observation XXXIX from Hooke's Micrographia, 1664. Micrographica contains prints of some of the specimens Hooke viewed under the compound microscope that he designed. He chose the grey drone-fly because it had the greatest clusters of eyes in proportion to its head. He was one of the founder members of the Royal Society, at which he held the post of 'Curator of Experiments'.
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Pythagoras, Ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher, 6th century BC. Portrait bust. As a philosopher, Pythagoras (c580-c500 BC) promoted the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, the kinship of all living things and various ritual rules of abstinence. As a mathematician, he is associated with discoveries involving the relations of numbers, the theorem which bears his name, and with more fundamental beliefs about the understanding and representation of the world of nature through numbers.
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Luigi Galvani's experiments with electricity, 1791. An electrostatic machine, a Leyden jar and various experiments conducted by Italian physiologist Galvani (1737-1798) to investigate behaviour of muscles stimulated by electricity. Whilst investigating the effects of electrostatic stimuli applied to the muscles of frogs, Galvani discovered he could make a muscle twitch by touching the nerve with metal (a pair of scissors for example) without a source of electrostatic charge. He called this phenomenon 'animal electricity'. The term 'galvanise' - to shock or excite into action, takes its name from him. From De Viribus Electricitatis by Luigi Galvani. (Bologna, 1791).
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James Hutton, Scottish geologist, 1787 (1877). Hutton (1726-1797) working at a rock face with a geological hammer. In 1794 he published his Theory of the Earth, in which he put forward the uniformitarian theory of geology, asserting that the Earth was much older than generally accepted at the time. After an etching by John Kay.
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Thunderbolt or lightning, 1508. A man sheltering under a tree struck by lightning or a thunderbolt. From "Margarita philosophica" ("The Pearl of Philosophy") by Gregor Reisch. (Basel, 1508). This book was an early encyclopaedia of knowledge for students.
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Smoking opium, mid 19th century. A Chinese woman smoking a pipe of opium, an addictive narcotic drug produced from the sap of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). Her feet, which are unnaturally small, have been subjected to the practice of foot binding.
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Observing a total solar eclipse, 1851 (1857). Members of the Edinburgh expedition on Bue Island, Norway, with their instruments set up ready for viewing the eclipse which occurred on 28 July 1851. Members of the crew from their transport vessel are seated on the right by empty packing cases. From "Astronomical Observations made at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh". (Edinburgh, 1857).
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Total solar eclipse, 1851 (1857). Bue Island, Norway, 28 July 1851, at the end of totality, with light just beginning to return. Edinburgh Observatory sent an expedition to the island to make observations of the eclipse. From "Astronomical Observations made at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh". (Edinburgh, 1857).
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Jacquard power loom, 1915. In 1801 the Frenchman Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752-1834) invented a method of weaving intricate patterns by encoding them on punched cards. The swags of punched cards carrying the pattern for this early 20th century power operated loom are clearly visible.
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The Hermetic Vessel, c1760. A hermetic vessel in the alchemical furnace. The serpent within the vase symbolises the earthy substances of which the Philosopher's Stone is made. From "Fr Basilii Valentini Benedictiner Ordens Chymische Schriften". (Leipzig, 1760?). Basil Valentine (Basilius Valentinus) is a shadowy 15th century figure. He is supposed to have been a Benedictine monk, and is credited with a deep knowledge of alchemical mysteries. Whether the books attributed to him are his work, or that of 16th century alchemists who used his name, is open to debate. His famous "Twelve Keys" (being the twelve stages to the possession of the Philosopher's Stone) was first published in 1599 and continued to appear in various languages until the end of the 18th century.
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Johann Freidrich Bottger, German chemist and ceramicist, c1895. Bottger (Botticher, 1682-1719) was the originator of Dresden china. To protect the trade secrets, he and his colleagues were evacuated from Dresden when Sweden invaded Saxony in 1706. Under royal patronage, in 1708 he became director of large ceramic factories, and in 1715 he perfected European white porcelain. In 1716 he was put in prison for trying to sell the secret of the process. From "Der Stein der Weisen". (Leipzig, c1895).
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Charles Plumier, French friar, botanist and botanical explorer, 1762. Plumier (1646-1702) was born in Marseilles. Appointed royal botanist by Louis XIV in 1693, he made expeditions to the West Indies and Central America. He gave the first accurate account of the source of the red dye cochineal, which is an insect, not the plant on which it is found. Linnaeus named the genus Plumeria after him. From "Histoire des Philosophes Modernes" by Alexandre Saverien. (Paris, 1762).
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Henry Bessemer, English engineer and inventor, 1881. Born at Charlton, near Hitchen, Hertfordshire, Bessemer (1813-1893) took out many patents but is best remembered for his invention of the Bessemer process, patented in 1855, for more cheaply producing steel from pig iron in a Bessemer converter. He established a steelworks which utilised the process at Sheffield in 1859. Bessemer was knighted in 1859 and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society the same year. From "Men of Mark" by Thompson Cooper. (London, 1881).


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