Political Ecologies in the Renaissance

Hydraulics and Hydrostatics > Elevation des eaux par toute sorte de machines

Elevation des eaux par toute sorte de machines (1685) represents early work in the fields of hydrostatics and hydraulics. Samuel Morland (1625-95), an inventor and natural philosopher, wrote the book in French and dedicated it Louis XIV of France. Besides being a bid for royal patronage, the book demonstrates the ways in which hydrostatics and hydraulics were used to benefit the public by putting water to work. The book features detailed illustrations of water pumps and hoses engaged in various forms of work, including calculating the weight of the River Seine. It also contains images of various experiments involving water pressure. In the text, Morland proposes to use steam pressure to raise water, a novel idea for the time.  The book’s publication followed Morland’s sojourn in France, a period in which he was engaged in failed waterworks projects at Versailles. Following its publication, Morland, penniless, returned to England.

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