image MS_847_262
Image number: RS.17483
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Tool for collecting alluvial gold


12 December 1678


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

Object type

Archive reference number

Manuscript page number




height (page): 310mm
width (page): 195mm


Content object


Image of a notched, sloped board for collecting gold from the Danube. John van Bemde reported to the meeting of the Royal Society on 12 December 1678 that by this method, people earned six or seven shillings a day. The figures appear in the minutes of the meeting taken by Robert Hooke, now constituting part of the 'Hooke folio'.

Object history

At the meeting of the Royal Society on 12 December 1678, ‘Mr. Bemde related the way of collecting the golden sands of the river Danube, which was by throwing the sand with water upon a board laid a little aslope, and cut with many notches like the teeth of a saw, with the teeth turned upwards, and against the slope: by which means all the particles of gold would lodge themselves in these teeth or notches, whereas the lighter sand, gravel, and dirt will all wash away’ (Birch 3:447).

Related Fellows

Robert Hooke (1635-1703, British), Natural philosopher
John Van de Bemde (1650-1730), Merchant

Associated place

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