Air pump (replica)

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Postcard of Air pump (replica).
© National Museums Scotland

Air pump (replica)

This is a replica of an air pump constructed in 1657 by Otto von Guericke of Magdeburg (1602-86). The replica was made in the 19th century, probably in England, probably when the original was in London for exhibition in 1876.

One of a group of six electrotypes - an air pump constructed by Otto von Guericke of Magdeburg

When two brass hemispheres are placed together and the air pumped out, the external atmospheric pressure outside makes them very difficult to separate. Von Guericke demonstrated this using a pump like this one.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-217-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1931.268
Date: 19th century
Original: 1657; Replica: 19th century
What: Electrotype / pump, air
Subject: 13. PNEUMATICS, Experimental (Departmental Classification)
Who: Otto von Guericke of Magdeburg (Constructor of air pump)
Where: England
  • For an overview of the development of the air pump, see Turner, Anthony, Early Scientific Instruments 1400-1800. London: 1987, pp 126-9 
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