Emanuel Swedenborg, Swedish mystic and scientist, 1734.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraved frontispiece portrait by Bernigroth from 'Principia rerum naturalium' (The principia, or, The first principles of natural things) by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) published in Dresden in 1734. Swedenborg, originally Swedberg, was asesor in the college of mines at Uppsala, Sweden, and wrote on algebra, navigation, astronomy and chemistry. His 'Principia' formed part of his 'Opera philosophica et mineralia', (Philosophical and Logical Works), which dealt with the creation of the world. Swedenborg had dreams which caused him to believe he could communicate with the spirit world. His followers founded the Church of the New Jerusalem in 1787.