This image appeared as the frontispiece of vol. 14 of the Encyclopaedia Londinensis (1816). The “Chapman sculp.” signature in the lower left may refer to John Chapman (fl. 1787-1811), a London engraver. The text at bottom (cropped from our copy) read “London Published April 13, 1816, by G. Jones.”
A “Description of the Frontispiece Illustrating Mechanics” appears on p. [1] of the book. It reads: “Archimedes, the founder of theoretical mechanics, is represented in a contemplative attitude, in the midst of his pupils and of the instruments of the mechanical powers. In the foreground a youth is tracing on the sand a diagram expressing the famous discovery of Archimedes, the proportion of the sphere to the cylinder; to which another, leaning on a book, is attentive. On the right hand are shown the action of the screw and the wedge, and higher up, of the balance. From the ceiling is suspended a system of pulleys. On the left is a globe, the hydrostatical bellows, and the pump which bears the name of Archimedes’s screw; the action of the inclined plane is also shown in the left corner; and in the back ground, on the same side, is a youth working a crane.”
Ref: Richard Yeo, Encyclopaedic Visions: Scientific Dictionaries and Enlightenment Culture (Cambridge and New York, 20010
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 10 1/4 in x 7 1/4 in; 26.035 cm x 18.415 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Prints from the Physical Sciences Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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