Volcanic material from Mount Vesuvius, 1779.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Hand-coloured etching by Peter Fabris (active 1768-1779). One of five illustrated plates from the 1779 supplement to William Hamilton's study of Italian volcanoes, 'Campi Phlegraei' (published in Naples, 1776). These images show (1) vitrified matter, (2, 4, 5) lava, (3) white pumice stones, (6,8) volcanic 'bombs' and (7) posibly flint. Based on letters to the Royal Society, the book was a more precise study of volcanoes than had previously existed, illustrating Hamilton's claim that volcanoes are creative natural forces.