Verbiest's Prints

In the exhibition we were able to present only a selection from Ferdinand Verbiest’s Xinzhi Yixiangtu. All 105 of the prints are available here. Click on a thumbnail for larger versions, or choose a group from the list of themes such as astronomy and mechanics.

Theme: Lifting [19]

Illustrations based on the decomposition of forces and the inclined plane (top), and an illustration of the capstan carrying pieces of the instrument platforms up a ramp (bottom) Examples of the principles of statics and Brahe Examples of the three kinds of levers (right) and their use in a hoisting operation (left) Illustration of the use of pulleys and tackle to raise platform and instrument segments Illustration of two systems of multiple pulleys System to move heavy loads up a slope, with a horse and cart in background Diagrams of lifting arrangements and how to lift a quadrant arm with ropes and a crown block (bottom middle) Lifting system using the principles of the lever A quadrant (left), and a lifting system using an inclined plane compared to one without the inclined plane (right) Illustration of lifting on two parallel lines (left) and the practical application of the principle (right) Illustrations of lifting on two non-parallel lines to show that they meet at the centre of gravity (right & left) and the application of the principle to the support of a globe (centre) Illustration of how to move heavy items sideways by the use of pulleys Illustration of a windlass (left) and a machine for lifting heavy weights (right) Gearwheels used to power the rotation of Verbiest Machine and accompanying diagram to lift building materials to Observatory platform. Machine made of tackle and a large windlass used to lift heavy objects to Observatory platform (left) and an illustration of a windlass (right) Illustration showing how screws save energy (top) and two nuts and bolts, as used on the instruments (bottom) Illustration of principles needed to find the centre of gravity of a quadrangle (bottom middle) and the application of the principle to mounting and lifting sextants and quadrants The use of pulleys in operating sextants and quadrants