Double-acting pneumatic air pump, 1750-1760
Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004
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Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004

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When Franklin purchased this air pump he was buying "at the top of the line." George Adams' scientific instruments have, to us, the appearance of architectural models or miniature statuary. This pump, with its turned and carved wooden columns and pediment, brass cylinders and pipes, and blown glass chambers, speaks to us of the fascination with which the 18th century regarded natural science.

For other examples of scientific and mathematical instruments from this period, many by George Adams, visit Terms of Use Credits