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: Mechanics [41]

On the strength of materials, in relation to Galileo On levers and weights, in relation to Galileo On the strength of materials, and the effect of the beam cross-section, in relation to Galileo On the resistance of beams with different thickness to fracture, in relation to Galileo Determining the point of fracture in a beam, in relation to Galileo Moulds for casting bronze rings and, in the foreground, an explanation of the specific gravity of solids Diagrams to illustrate the centre of gravity and the motion of all weighty matter towards the centre of the earth The earth as two hemispheres to illustrate the centre of gravity Explanation of the centre of gravity of different planes and solids The back of an astrolabe (upside down) and a geometrical solid, to show that the object will be in equilibrium when suspended through the centre of gravity Illustration of the centres of gravity and stability of instruments, people, and creatures The centres of gravity of a sextant of Tycho Brahe The centre of gravity of birds in flight, on ground, and at rest (top and right) and of an astronomical instrument suspended on pulleys (left) The centre of gravity of trees (right) and a grid square (left) Illustration of wormgears and their applications 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) A three-faced clock (left) and the simple pendulum (right) Examples of the principles of statics and Brahe Examples of the three kinds of levers (right) and their use in a hoisting operation (left) Human-powered forge hammer after Beeson (1571/2) (left) and an illustration of the lever principle as applied to pincers (right) 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) Use of parallel poles to hold a sextant in equilibrium 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 the law of forces for inclined planes (top) and the application of screws and gears to conserve energy in the operation of an instrument, e.g. turning a globe (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 Method of leveling (top) and an illustration of a leveling instrument (bottom) A pendulum device (lower right), and a series of experiments about the law of natural descent Illustration of a projectiles trajectory, as timed with a pendulum and measured by a gunners level