Polished stones from Mount Vesuvius, c 1770.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Hand-coloured etching by Peter Fabris (active 1768-1779), after his own drawing. Illustrated plate from William Hamilton's study of Italian volcanoes, 'Campi Phlegraei' (published in Naples, 1776). Specimens of marble and other polished stone found on Vesuvius by Hamilton. Based on letters sent to the Royal Society, Hamilton's book was a more precise account of volcanic activity than had previously existed, illustrating his claim that volcanoes are creative natural forces.