'Manning the Pumps', c1910–1913, (1913). Artist: Herbert Ponting
'Manning the Pumps', c1910–1913, (1913). Crew on the Terra Nova. The final expedition of British Antarctic explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) left London on 1 June 1910 bound for the South Pole. The Terra Nova Expedition, officially the British Antarctic Expedition (1910-1913), included a geologist, a zoologist, a surgeon, a photographer, an engineer, a ski expert, a meteorologist and a physicist among others. Scott wished to continue the scientific work that he had begun when leading the Discovery Expedition to the Antarctic in 1901-04. He also wanted to be the first to reach the geographic South Pole. Scott, accompanied by Dr Edward Wilson, Captain Lawrence Oates, Lieutenant Henry Bowers and Petty Officer Edgar Evans, reached the Pole on 17 January 1912, only to find that the Norwegian expedition under Amundsen had beaten them to their objective by a month. Delayed by blizzards, and running out of supplies, Scott and the remainder of his team died at the end of March. Their bodies and diaries were found eight months later. From Scott's Last Expedition, Volume I. [Smith, Elder & Co., London, 1913]
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The Marly Machine, 18th century. Artist: Unknown
The Marly Machine, 18th century. Louis XIV of France had this machine constructed on the banks of the Seine to pump water from the river to his chateaux at Versailles and Marly. It was responsible for the gushing fountains and other water features at Versailles. The flow of the river was harnessed to turn 14 paddlewheels which then powered over 200 pumps which forced water up a network of pipes to an aqueduct at Louveciennes. This represented a vertical rise of 500 feet. The Marly machine was engineered by Arnold de Ville and built by Rennequin Sualem and is thought to have been the largest system of integrated machinery ever assembled at the time it was completed in 1684. Its construction had taken 30 years. The machine remained in use until 1817, after which it was rebuilt and modified.
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Robert Boyles second air pump, c1660 (1725). Artist: Unknown
Robert Boyle's second air pump, c1660 (1725). The pump is being used to evacuate a bell jar to examine the effect on an animal inside it. Robert Boyle (1627-1691) was a physicist and chemist who carried out many experiments on air, vacuum, combustion, and respiration. In 1662 he formulated Boyle's Law, which states that the pressure and volume of gas are inversely proportional. From an edition of Boyle's work published in 1725.
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