image MS_776_239
Image number: RS.17368
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Glass balls


26 November 1662


Unknown, Artist


Robert Hooke (1635-1703, British), Natural philosopher

Object type

Archive reference number

Manuscript page number




height (page): 321mm
width (page): 200mm


   > Mechanics


Drawing of a double glass ball used by Robert Hooke to prove the compression of air in the internal glass ball. This was reported among other experiments using glass balls to the meeting of the Royal Society on 26 November 1662.

ABC shows a glass ball made of white glass melted in the flame of a lamp and sealed up while the ball was very hot. DFEIK indicates a bolt head cut off at IK to fit in the ball and sealed up with cement afterwards. Water is then poured in between the bolt head and the glass ball until it reaches H. When the top of the glass ball A is broken, the height of the water rises to G (1/8 of an inch), which indicates the measure of the air that was compressed in the glass ball ABC.

The original drawing by Hooke is at Cl.P/20/3/003. Copies of this image are found in RBO/2i/040, RBO/2ii/044, Cl.P/24/51/003 and RBC/1/261.

This volume is another copy of entries of the first two volumes of the Register Book. It was given to Sir Joseph Banks by G. S. Heales Esquire of Doctor's Common on 31 May 1814.

Object history

26 November 1662, ‘Mr. Hooke brought in his account of the experiments tried with glass-balls’ (Birch 1:127).

Related Fellows

Robert Hooke (1635-1703, British), Natural philosopher

Associated place

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