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.
Hooke, Halley, and TM

To ascertain the popularity of the TM I'm revisiting who had copies of which works. If Peter the Great owned Besson, Leupold, and Soloman de Caus, who else did?

As I've already mentioned, Hooke owned several:
  • 13. Wilkin's (Jo.) Mathematical Magick --- 1680 [Appendix to Dr. Hooke's Catalogue. English Miscellanies, in Octavo and Duodecimo (pg. 39)]
  • 140. Le Theatre d'Agriculture & Menage des Champs d'Ol de Serres Par. 1600 [Libri Latini, &c. in Folio (pg. 64)]
  • 285. Geo. Agricolae de Re Metallica Lib. xii. &c. cum Fig. Bas. 1556 0.5.0 [Libri Latini, &c. in Folio (pg. 67)]
  • 286. Teatro de los Inftrum. y Fig. Math. y Mechanic. por D. Beffon, con Fig. Leon. 1602 [Libri Latini, &c. in Folio (pg. 67)]
  • 291. Geo. Andr. Bocklern Architectura curiofa nova, cum Fig. -Norimb. 1664 1.10.6 [Libri Latini, &c. in Folio (pg. 67)]
  • 294. Les x Libres d'Architecture de Vitruve, Corrigez & Traduits en Francois, avec des Notes & des Figures --- Par. 1673 2.1.6 [Libri Latini, &c. in Folio (pg. 67)]
  • 293. Nouvelle Inventice de de lever l'Eau plux hauz que la fource par. Ifaac de Caus. avec des Fig. 0.3.0 [Libri Latini, &c. in Folio (pg. 67)]
  • Geo. Andr. Bockleri Theatrum Machinar. exhibens Operan Molaria & Aquatica, cum Fig. --- Normib. 1662. 1.13.6 [Libri Latini, &c. in Folio (pg. 67)]
  • Fl. Vegetius de Re Miliari --- S.J. Frontinus de Stratagemat. &c. cum Fig. --- Par. 1535 0.4.8 [Libri Latini, &c. in Folio (pg. 67)]
Dr. Edmund Halley also owned a fair number of the theatrum... or so we think. The auction catalogue lists both the contents of Halley's library along with the the library of a "late eminent serjeant at law." Either Halley or the serjeant owned the works and I'm betting on Halley.

  • 472. Bockleri Architectura Cruiofa, cum fig. Norimb. 1664 (pg. 164)
  • 473. --- Theatrum Machninarum Novum ib. 1686 (pg. 164)
  • 1102. De Caus, Raifons des Forces Mounvantes, fig. ib. [Paris] 1615 (pg. 179)
  • 1152. Orme, Architecture de --- ib. [Par.] 1567 (pg. 180)
  • 1154. Palladio, Architecture de, par Leoni, 2 Tom. Haye 1726 (pg. 180)
  • 1187. Vitruve, Architecture de, par Perrault, fig. Par. 1684 (pg. 180)
  • 1207. Del. Obel. Vatic. & Fabriche di N.S. Pap. Sixto V. fatte del Cav. Dom. Fontana, fig. --- Roma 1590 (pg. 182)
  • 1263. Zonca Teatra di Machine, con fig. --- Padoua 1656 (pg. 183)
  • 1445. Moxon's Ufe of the Globes --- 1659 (pg. 187)
  • 2228. Architecture Hyraulique par Belidor, avec fig. ib. [Paris] 1737 (pg. 208)
  • 2249. De Serres Theatre d'Agriculture --- Rouen 1635 (pg. 209)

Feisenberger, H.A. (editor) (1975). Sales Catalogues of Libraries of Eminent Persons. Vol 11. Scientists. Mansell Information/Publishing: London.