Temple doors opened by fire on an altar, 1589.

 
Temple doors opened by fire on an altar, 1589.
4 0 c m
 
30cm
actual image size: 22cm x 32cm

Description

Engraved diagram showing a method whereby, 'on lighting a fire, the doors shall open spontaneously, and shut again when the fire is extinguished'. A system of heated liquid, chains, pulleys, weights and siphons, enables the doors to be opened automatically as long as a fire is burning. Illustration from 'Gli artifitiosi et curiosi moti spiritali di Herrone' (commonly called 'Pneumatics') by Hero of Alexandria, published in Ferrara in 1589.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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