image Experimental lecture IM006268
Image number: RS.9323
Credit: © The Royal Society
Looking for a special gift? Buy a print of this image.

“Scientific Researches!” [Royal Institution lecture]


23 May 1802


James Gillray (1757-1815, British), Caricaturist

Object type

Library reference





height (print): 253mm
width (print): 354mm


Content object


Interior, humorous view of an experimental lecture in progress at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, including caricatures of: Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829) [centre, holding bellows]; Thomas Garnett (1766-1802) [centre, conducting experiment]; Sir John Coxe Hippisley (1748-1825) [centre, breathing gas]; and Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1753-1814) [looking on, right, with star and ribbon].

The print is inscribed above: “Scientific Researches! – New Discoveries in PNEUMATICS! – or – an Experimental Lecture on the Power of Air.-“ On the central table, where the experiment is being conducted, are various retorts and items of scientific apparatus, including jars marked “Oxygen” and “Hydrogen”, an air-pump containing a frog in a glass bell-jar, and a clay pipe burning tobacco. More equipment is visible through a door at the rear of the theatre. The audience includes women and children and on the lower right is an open notebook inscribed: “Hints on the Nature of air requir’d for the new French Diving Boat”.

Inscribed below: “J.Gillray inv. & Fect. Pubd. May, 23d, 1802 by H.Humphrey, St James’s Street.

Object history

Print from Charles Richard Weld's 2 volume A history of the Royal Society... (London, John W. Parker, 1848) grangerized by the writer and collector Alexander Meyrick Broadley (1847–1916) into 8 volumes, adding illustrative material and manuscript items to Weld's text. The books were initially owned by Ludwig Mond FRS (1839–1909), and according to an inscription by his son Robert Ludwig Mond FRS (1867–1938) they were intended for presentation to the Society. This eventually happened in late 1959, the donor being the politician Harry Nathan (1889–1963), Lord Nathan of Churt.

Associated place

<The World>
   > Europe
      > United Kingdom