image MS_776_433
Image number: RS.17393
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Glass instrument with a bolt head


1 July 1663


Unknown, Artist


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

Object type

Archive reference number

Manuscript page number




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


   > Mechanics


Drawing of a glass instrument with a bolt head, placed in a small glass vessel. Robert Hooke used this instrument with an air pump for a series of experiments in July 1663, including a variation of the Torricellian experiment using water and an experiment on the 'uniting and mixing of air and water'.

This image is copied from one in the Register Book Original (RBO/2i/244 or RBO/2ii/161). The original drawing by Hooke is at Cl.P/20/20/001. There are other copies at MS/215/098 and RBC/2/046.

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 1 July 1663, ‘Mons. Huygens’s experiment of purging water from air, to see whether it would subside, according to the Torricellian experiment, was made, but did not succeed; and was therefore ordered to be repeated at the next meeting. Mr. Hooke’s experiment for finding, whether the bubbles, that rise out of the water upon the emptying a receiver of the air, are real air, or only rarefied parts of water, was ordered to be repeated at the next meeting’ (Birch 1:268).

8 July 1663, ‘[Mr. Hooke] was ordered to give, in writing, the two experiments lately made concerning the bubbles remaining on the top of the water in glass balls, upon the emptying of the receiver; and the not subsiding of the water freed from air. The operator was ordered to get the long glass tubes raised against the next meeting’ (Birch 1:273).

16 July 1663, ‘Mr. Hooke brought in an account in writing of two experiments tried by the society, one concerning the uniting and mixing of air and water; the other concerning the suspension of defecated water in a bolt head after the receiver had been well exhausted. This account was ordered to be registered’ (Birch 1:274-75). Figure and text printed in Birch 1:275.

Related Fellows

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

Associated place

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