Otto von Guericke, German physicist and inventor, 1649.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photogravure after an engraving by Cornelis Galle, after a painting by Anselmus van Hulle, of Otto von Guericke (1602-1686), German inventor of the vacuum pump. Guericke, an engineer in the Swedish army, made improvements to a water pump so that it would exhaust air from a container. He gave dramatic demonstrations of the effects produced by the resulting reduction in presure. He also devised the first recorded electrostatic machine. From a collection of portraits of scientists published by Photographische Gesellschaft, Berlin, 1910. Dimensions: 460mm x 340mm.