Magdeburg Hemispheres

Magdeburg Hemispheres

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Otto Von Guericke (1602-1686), the scientifically-minded mayor of Magdeburg, demonstrated the effects of a vacuum and of atmospheric pressure by joining one hollow hemisphere with another, evacuating the air between the two, and showing how hard it then was to pull the two apart. In time, Magdeburg hemispheres became popular pieces of scientific apparatus.
This unsigned example was used at St. Joseph's College, in Emmitsburg, Md. Established by Elizabeth Ann Seaton, shortly after her arrival at Emmitsburg in 1809, this was the first free parochial school for girls in the United States.
Ref: Benjamin Pike, Jr. Illustrated Descriptive Catalogue of Optical, Mathematical, and Philosophical Instruments (New York, 1856), vol. 1, p. 204
Currently not on view
Object Name
Magdeburg Hemispheres
overall: 13 cm x 6.5 cm; 5 1/8 in x 2 9/16 in
overall: 5 in x 2 9/16 in; 12.7 cm x 6.50875 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
St. Joseph's College
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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