Trade card with engraving of Archimedes, Greek mathematician, 18th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Trade card for philosphical, mathematical and optical instrument makers W and S Jones of London, featuring an illustration of Archimedes studying at a desk. Archimedes (c 287-212 BC) is one of the most celebrated figures of the ancient world. His major importance in mathematics was his discovery of formulae for the areas and volumes of spheres, cylinders, parabolas and other plane and solid figures. His methods anticipated the theories of integration to be developed 1800 years later. He also founded the science of hydrostatics, the study of the presure and equilibrium of fluids, and is famous in popular tradition for shouting 'Eureka' when he realised that the level of water in his bath rose when he got into it. The Archimedean screw is still used for raising water.