Sunday, December 04, 2005

Machine de Marly

Versailles is one hell of a grand achievement. The water works created by Louis XIV are no less magnificent.

It was one of the crowning mechanical achievements of its day. It was immortalized in the works of Belidor, Diderot, and Leupold. It was also a kind of tourist destination in its day. Nartov (of course) visited the site on the recommendation of Peter I. Boulton and Watt made a pilgrimage and proposed an alternative means of pumping. Even Thomas Jefferson made an appearance. In a letter to Maria Cosway dated October 12 1786 he notes:

"Go on then, like a kind comforter & paint to me the day we went to St. Germains. How beautiful was every object! the Port of Reuilly, the hills along the Seine, the rainbows of the machine of Marly, the terrace of St. Germains, the chateaux, the gardens, the statues of Marly, the pavillion of Lucienne." (Jefferson 1999, pg. 12)

His account books for September 7 notes: "pd seeing Machine of Marly 6 f the chateau 6 f Pd Petit towards dinner at Marly 12f pd at Lowechienne f" (Brodie 1998, pg. 523 n.27)

More on Marly needs to be said...


Brodie, F.M. (1998). Thomas Jefferson. F.W. Norton and Company: New York.
Jefferson, Thomas (1999). Political Writings. Cambridge University Press: London.


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