'Mechanics: Discovering Perpetual Motion (in a Wife's Tongue)', c 1830s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Etching by Theodore Lane showing a wife shouting at her husband who has been spending all his time experimenting with perpetual motion. William Martin (1772-1851) caused the collapse of the Newtonian system of philosophy by demonstrating perpetual motion; a discovery that the cartoon jokingly suggests was unnecesary as women's nagging tongues had already proved the concept. Martin was a highly individual character and in 1814 founded the Martinian Society in opposition to the Royal Society. His published works include: 'W M's Challenge to the whole Terrestrial Globe' (1829).