Florence, Italy http://www.imss.fi.it Multimedia Museum Catalogue A virtual visit – made by class 4.A – Ga SOSPg Znojmo
Modern chemistry Astronomy Geography and Cartography Electricity and Magnetism Calculating instruments END
1.Precision balance 2.Alembic domes 3.Bottle with side spout 4.Bottle with curved pouring pipe 5.Bell-jar 6.Bottles 7.Retort 8.Matrasses 9.Funnel 10.Glass Modern chemistry
Precision balance The balance is supported by a marble pillar with an internal stop mechanism, a screw-controlled lever, two bubble levels at the top of the pillar, with brass adjustment screws.
Alembic domes Parts of instruments for distillation, one of the fundamental operations in alchemy and chemistry.
Bottle with side spout Ocher glass bottle, generally used for solutions of substances in liquids.
Bottle with curved pouring pipe Clear glass bottle with curved pouring pipe and a mouth with pouring lip.
Bell-jar Glass bell-jars were very common in the eighteenth century and had a variety of applications.
Bottles Two white glass bottles. One has a truncated-conic neck, the other is tall-necked with an opening near the bottom. Bottles have always been essential to chemical analysis, either as vessels for substances, or as accessories for instruments in different experiments.
Retort This retort is made of glass and also has a small open beak. Used for distillation.
Matrasses The larger one is white, spherical, and flared, with internal frosting; the second is green. The instrument's special shape made it easier to prepare solutions of salts. Both have traces of an unidentified substance at the bottom .
Funnel White glass funnel in a cylindrical cardboard case. Used to pour mercury in chemical operations.
Glass Chalice whose cup is connected by means of a small tube to a round bulge. The apparatus rests on a thick round base.
Astronomy • Themes: • - Astrnomical use of the plane astrolabe • Hourglasses, water clocks and combustion clocks • Lorenzo della Volpaia`s planetary clock • Mechanikal clocks • Nocturnal • Pendulum movement • Quadrant • Sundails (1) • Sundails (2)
Astronomical use of the plane astrolabe This astrolabe was made by Thomas Gemini. On the front are the rete and the alidade. The mater carries the mariner's quadrant and the names of the winds in English, Greek, and Latin. The date is incomplete, but the three engraved digits (155) narrow the time frame for the instrument's construction to 1550-1559. On the back is a universal planisphere with another alidade fitted with a mobile perpendicular arm and a jointed index. The tympanums are missing. Provenance: Robert Dudley bequest to the Medici collections.
Hourglasses, water clocks, and combustion clocks Powder hourglass housed in a hexagonal iron frame with six small pillars. The glass compartments are joined at the center by paper disks. The time elapsed was measured by the quantity of powder falling from the upper compartment to the lower one.
Lorenzo della Volpaia's planetary clock A faithful reconstruction of the Orologio dei Pianeti, invented and built by Lorenzo della Volpaia in 1510. Initially installed in the Sala dei Gigli in the Palazzo Vecchio, the clock was dismantled and destroyed in the seventeenth century. The reconstruction is based on the highly detailed data about the original clock in Della Volpaia's manuscripts. The replica was built by Alberto Gorla under the scientific supervision of Giuseppe Brusa, with Emmanuelle Poulle as astronomical consultant.
Mechanical clocks The back of the astrolabe dial is stamped twice with the initials CR joined inside a shield: the letters may stand for Caspar Rauber. The original leather case is lined on the inside and outside with red velvet. There are six openings protected by crystals. The globe-shaped top, also covered in leather, protects the armillary sphere. The case is divided into three parts: the base, with a drawer for the keys, and two façade covers. Possibly the clock made in Florence for Maria Cristina of Lorraine, wife of Grand Duke Ferdinand I de' Medici. Remained in the possession of the Medici and was later exhibited in the Tribuna di Galileo. Restored to working order in 1878.
Nocturnal The instrument consists of two superposed disks of different diameters. Part of the circumference of the smaller disk is toothed and fitted with a short index. On the disks is mounted a long, finely decorated index. The front of the instrument served as a nocturnal for determining the time from the positions of the stars. The front also carries the zodiac signs, the initials of the names of the months, and the hour markings. On the back is the sundial, complete with a folding gnomon, for telling time during the day. The back also displays the date (1554).
Pendulum movement The oval frame with feet and gilt friezes contains a copy of the original drawing made by Vincenzo Viviani and by Galileo's son, Vincenzo. It reproduces the apparatus illustrated by Galileo in his letter of June 1637 to Laurens Reael, in which he explained his method of determining the longitude based on the observation of the periods of Jupiter's moons.
Quadrant Double quadrant, comprising two brass plates and an identically shaped wooden tablet between them. The three plates rotate on one another around a single point located at the apex of the right angle.
Sundials (1) This ring dial comprises three rings (armillae). One ring carries the symbols of the zodiacal constellations on the inner side; another is inscribed on both sides with a semi-circle divided into twelve parts. There are hinges for closing the dial. Provenance: Medici collections.
Sundials (2) This tiny solar quadrant, made of boxwood, is preserved with its leather case. The instrument was used to tell the time from the altitude of the Sun. There are engraved markings in black on both sides and the hour lines. One side carries the divisions for the months from April to September, the other the divisions from October to March. The quadrant was built for latitude 37°30' (Catania and Seville).
Geography and Cartography • Armillary sphere • Terrestrial globe • Octant • Arab celestial globe • Celestial globe
Armillary sphere • Begun on March 4, 1588, and completed on May 6, 1593, this large armillary sphere was built under the supervision of Antonio Santucci at the request of Ferdinand I de' Medici. The sphere represents the "universal machine" of the world according to the concepts developed by Aristotle and perfected by Ptolemy.
Terrestrial globe • This terrestrial globe, made by Matthäus Greuter, is complete with cover. The circular horizon rests directly on the three roughly C-shaped legs, creating a rather unusual English-type stand.
Octant • The octant is a reflection instrument designed by John Hadley c. 1731. It is used to measure the altitude of the Sun or a celestial body above the horizon at sea.
Arab celestial globe • Believed to be the oldest celestial globe in the world. Only the globe is original; the base with the horizon and the meridian are more recent. An Arabic inscription states that the globe was made in Valencia by Ibrâhim 'Ibn Saîd and his son Muhammad in year 478 of the Hegira (1085 of the Christian era).
Celestial globe • This celestial globe, made by Mario Cartaro, is one of the rare examples of printed globes produced in Italy in the sixteenth century. Manuscript globes, which could be made in much larger sizes, were more common.
Armed lodestones Large armed lodestone Nobili's thermoelectric galvanometer Nobili's constant-current thermopile Nobili's hydroelectric galvanometer Large spherical lodestone Azimuth compass Magneto-electric machine by Pixii Volta hydrogen lamp with electrophorus Volta hydrogen lamp Electricity and Magnetism
Volta hydrogen lamp Hydrogen lamp invented by Alessandro Volta. Consists of a glass globe with a brass base and brass collar with stop-cock. Above the latter projects sideways a bent tube terminating in a nozzle.
Volta hydrogen lamp with electrophorus A more sophisticated version of the hydrogen lamp invented by Alessandro Volta. Incomplete. A glass bottle rests on a wooden box whose top is fitted with a brass collar and stop-cock.
Magneto-electric machine by Pixii One of the earliest magneto-electric generators for producing electric current. A mahogany frame supports a horseshoe electromagnet suspended from the upper cross-piece (today only the electromagnet's iron core survives; the coils are missing).
Azimuth compass Azimuth compass mounted on gimbals. A mahogany box with brass frame is suspended inside a second box with handles. Hand-made and hand-colored windrose, above which pivots a broad magnetic needle with garnet bearing cup.
Large spherical lodestone Large lodestone trimmed into a sphere, with latitudinal and longitudinal grooves dividing the sphere into equal areas. The lodestone is armed by two iron hemispheres encased by sheets of beaten copper and terminating at the top in large pole pieces.
Nobili's hydroelectric galvanometer The black wooden base of this galvanometer carried a lead stabilizing ring (missing). A cylindrical glass cover carries the suspension for the astatic needles.
Nobili's constant-current thermopile Consists of a brass ring carrying 25 elements (antimony and bismuth couples), with removable top and bottom, the whole forming a cylindrical box. An important application of the thermopile was as a constant source of electric current, long before reference voltages could be supplied by stable standard cells.
Nobili's thermoelectric galvanometer The black wooden base carries a lead stabilizing ring painted red. The glass protection dome is missing. The coil, wound on a boxwood bobbin, has many windings of fine wire, probably silver, covered with silk.
Large armed lodestone Long kept in the Uffizi Gallery, where it was observed and described by Cornelis Mejjer, this lodestone was re-armed by Mejjer to restore its original power. Mejjer also recalled that exceptional magnets such as this fetched exorbitant prices.
Set of armed lodestones used by Galileo for his studies on magnets, which intensified in 1600-1609. In particular, Galileo discussed magnets with Paolo Sarpi and Giovanfrancesco Sagredo, between Padua and Venice, during that decade. Their exchanges frequently refer to William Gilbert's De Magnete (London, 1600). Armed lodestones
Single-handed dividers Quadrant Geometrical square Caliper compass Dividing engine Objective lens Dipleidoscope Spectroscope Mobile mount for eyepiece Theodolite Calculating instruments
Single-handed dividers The legs of the instrument comprise a semi-circular section and a straight section tapered to a point.
Quadrant This quadrant, consists of a thin plate on which are roughly inscribed a few lines radiating from the vertex to the arc.
Geometrical square This geometrical square consists of a frame inscribed with the shadow square on two contiguous sides.
Caliper compass Caliper compass consisting of two arched legs displaying small straight marks at the hinge point.
Dividing engine Dividing engine used to engrave the graduated circles of astronomical instruments.
Objective lens This may have been one of the lenses made for his private observatory and bequeathed to the Specola.
Dipleidoscope It consists of a small telescope mounted on a cylindrical stone pedestal with a prism system in front of the objective.
Spectroscope It was one of the devices that could be applied to the focal plane of the Amici I telescope
Mobile mount for eyepiece The mount enabled the observer to explore the sky with controlled movements, or to track an object when it was escaping from view because of the apparent motion of the celestial sphere.