image MS_776_367
Image number: RS.17382
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Diagram explaining the raising of a weight by inflating a bladder


4 March 1663


Unknown, Artist

Object type

Archive reference number

Manuscript page number




height (page): 320mm
width (page): 200mm


   > Mechanics


The diagram is one of a series of figures (fols 363-70) in John Wallis's explanation of the raising of a weight by inflating a bladder. In this diagram, B is a large bladder, the neck of which at N is fastened to a board or post. The bladder can be inflated through a quill at Q, and P is a weight attached to the other end. Wallis observed that over 70 pounds could be lifted in this fashion, depending on the strength of the individual's lungs. Wallis read his paper at the meeting of the Royal Society on 4 March 1663.

These figured are copied from the series in RBO/2i/168-75.

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

At the meeting of the Royal Society on 4 March 1663, ‘Dr. Wallis brought in his account of the experiment, wherein a weight is raised by the blowing of a bladder; demonstrating it by the principles of statics applied to the particular case; and it was ordered to be registered’ (Birch 1:206).

Related Fellows

John Wallis (1616-1703, British), Mathematician

Associated place

<The World>
   > Europe
      > United Kingdom