Pressure vessel

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Postcard of Pressure vessel.
© National Museums Scotland

Pressure vessel

This pressure vessel was made around 1800, and retailed by W. & S. Jones, scientific instrument makers based in London. It is a form of air pump, in which phenomena are examined when the pressure is greater than that of the atmosphere.

The vessel is mounted on a mahogany base, with two pillars and a cross piece to hold a wooden stopper in place. The ivory scale of the mercury-filled glass pressure gauge is inscribed 'W. & S. JONES. HOLBORN. LONDON.' and scratched on the glass are the words 'Forcing / Seringe'. A syringe pumps extra air into the vessel through the aperture on the front of the wooden base. The wooden bar and screws keep the lid on the glass vessel as the air is forced in.

The simple compression pump apparatus, such as this example, was developed in the late 18th century for experiments at enhanced pressures. Other examples are known with the signatures of other makers.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-244-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1972.130 A
Date: Around 1800
c. 1800
Material: Thick glass, mahogany base, wooden stopper, brass base plate, ivory scale. Inscription: W. & S. JONES. HOLBORN. LONDON; Forcing / Seringe
Dimensions: 19.00" H; 11.50" x 13.50"
Subject: 13. PNEUMATICS, Experimental (Departmental Classification)
Who: W. and S. Jones (Inscribed on the pressure vessel)
W. and S. Jones, London (Maker)
Where: England, London
England, London
Description: Pressure vessel mounted on a mahogany base, c. 1800
  • Adams, George, Lectures on Natural and Experimental Philosophy. Second edition edited by Jones, William: London: 1799, volume II pp 129-31, and plate II fig. 1 
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