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Louis Figuier Collection

Louis Figuier was a man of many interests and accomplishments. In the 19th century, he delved into various fields, leaving his mark in each one

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Muscles used in cycling, 19th century

Muscles used in cycling, 19th century
Muscles used in cycling. Artwork from the tenth volume (second period of 1892) of the French popular science weekly La Science Illustree

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Bonsai dwarf pine, 1889 C013 / 8769

Bonsai dwarf pine, 1889 C013 / 8769
Bonsai dwarf pine, 19th-century artwork. This specimen is from Japan, and is 150 years old. Bonsai is the art of cultivating ornamental artificially-dwarfed varieties of trees

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Cornish tin mines, 19th century

Cornish tin mines, 19th century
Cornish tin mines, 19th-century artwork. These mines are in the parish of St Just in Penwith, Cornwall, UK. 19th-century tin mines in this area date back to 1721

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Calots spinal surgery, 19th century

Calots spinal surgery, 19th century
Calots spinal surgery, 19th-century artwork. This operation is being carried out by the French surgeon Jean-Francois Calot (1861-1944) on a condition known as Potts disease

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Oil well, 19th century

Oil well, 19th century
Oil well. Crude oil erupting from a wellhead in a 19th-century oil field. The wellhead is the structure used to contain and pump oil as it reaches the surface from deep underground, often, as here

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Marconi with his radio, 19th century

Marconi with his radio, 19th century
Marconi with his radio, 19th-century artwork. The apparatus consists of a receiver and a transmitter. Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937)

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Manchester Ship Canal, 19th century

Manchester Ship Canal, 19th century
Manchester Ship Canal, 19th-century artwork. This canal, constructed between 1887 and 1893, opened on 1 January 1894. It provided a route for shipping from the Mersey Estuary to Manchester, UK

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Galileos Jovian moon observations, 1610

Galileos Jovian moon observations, 1610
Galileos Jovian moon observations. These first six observations of the four largest moons of Jupiter are from the work Sidereus Nuncius (1610) by the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Beekeeping, 19th century

Beekeeping, 19th century
Beekeeping, 19th-century artwork. Beekeeper extracting honey from honeycombs obtained from a beehive. Bees collect nectar from a wide range of flowering plants

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian explorer

Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian explorer
Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930), Norwegian explorer, biologist and humanitarian. In 1888 he was the first to cross the Greenland ice sheet and showed that it covered the entire island

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Fire sprinklers, 19th century

Fire sprinklers, 19th century
Fire sprinklers. This system of sprinklers was designed to extinguish fires, and here has been installed in a theatre in 19th-century France

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Cornish tin mining, 19th century

Cornish tin mining, 19th century
Cornish tin mining, 19th-century artwork. Miners working in a shaft in a tin mine in Cornwall, UK. Many such excavations were near the coast and extended out under the sea for nearly a kilometre

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Performing bears, 1893 C013 / 9111

Performing bears, 1893 C013 / 9111
Performing bears, 19th-century artwork. Artwork from the 12th volume (second period of 1893) of the French popular science weekly La Science Illustree

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Telegraph printer, 1889 C013 / 8777

Telegraph printer, 1889 C013 / 8777
Telegraph printer. 19th-century artwork of a telegraph printer developed by Moore and Wright in the 1880s. The electric telegraph had been developed in the 1830s and 1840s

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Microbiology caricature, 19th century

Microbiology caricature, 19th century
Microbiology caricature. The researcher is handling jars labelled as bacterial cultures, while the magnified view at left shows a caricatured appearance of microbes as seen under a microscope

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Telephone bureau exchange, 1889

Telephone bureau exchange, 1889
Telephone bureau exchange. 19th-century artwork of woman operating the exchange at a telephone bureau. They are using receivers to listen to incoming calls and using the wires

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Thumbprint forensics, 19th century

Thumbprint forensics, 19th century
Thumbprint forensics. Artwork from the tenth volume (second period of 1892) of the French popular science weekly La Science Illustree

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Galileo facing the Inquisition, Rome, 1633 (1870)

Galileo facing the Inquisition, Rome, 1633 (1870). Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), Italian astronomer, mathematician and physicist

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), 19th century (engraving)

Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), 19th century (engraving)
863318 Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), 19th century (engraving) by Unknown Artist, (19th century); (add.info.: Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859) English engineer and inventor, c1870

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Portrait of John Watkins Brett

Portrait of John Watkins Brett
865151 Portrait of John Watkins Brett by French School, (19th century); (add.info.: John Watkins Brett (1805-1863) English telegraph pioneer who, with his brother Jacob

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Louis Francois Clement Breguet

Louis Francois Clement Breguet
865144 Louis Francois Clement Breguet by French School, (19th century); (add.info.: Louis Francois Clement Breguet (1804-1883) French pioneer of electric telegraphy

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Portrait of Charles Christofle

Portrait of Charles Christofle
865142 Portrait of Charles Christofle by French School, (19th century); (add.info.: Charles Christofle (1805-1863) French silversmith

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Louis Figuier, 1853/77. Creator: Nadar

Louis Figuier, 1853/77. Creator: Nadar
Louis Figuier, 1853/77. Woodburytype, from the periodical "Galerie Contemporaine Litteraire, Artistique" (1877), volume 4

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Illustration from 'The human race'by Louis Figuier, 1872

Illustration from "The human race"by Louis Figuier, 1872
2914663 Illustration from " The human race" by Louis Figuier, 1872 by Unknown Artist, (19th century); (add.info.: Luigi Figueeir, human races book); eMark Edward Smith; out of copyright

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Louis Figuier, French scientist and writer, from Les Merveilles de la Science, pub. 1870

Louis Figuier, French scientist and writer, from Les Merveilles de la Science, pub. 1870
3588306 Louis Figuier, French scientist and writer, from Les Merveilles de la Science, pub.1870 by French School, (19th century); (add.info.: Louis Figuier, 1819- 1894. French scientist and writer)

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist, demonstrating his electric pile (battery), c1800 (c1870)

Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist, demonstrating his electric pile (battery), c1800 (c1870). Voltas (1745-1827) voltaic pile, an early form of battery, was the first source of current electricity

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Sectional view of a telegraph tower for Claude Chappes semaphore, 1792, (c1870)

Sectional view of a telegraph tower for Claude Chappes semaphore, 1792, (c1870). Chappes (1763-1805) system was in use in France and French colonies until about 1850

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, French chemist, demonstrating his discovery of oxygen, 1776 (1874)

Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, French chemist, demonstrating his discovery of oxygen, 1776 (1874). On the table in the right background of the picture is his calorimeter

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Nicholas Lemery, French chemist, 1870

Nicholas Lemery, French chemist, 1870. Lemery (1645-1715) was a pharmacist and lecturer in Paris. He wrote a textbook on chemistry and a treatise on the element antimony

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Nicolas Lemery, French pharmacist and chemist, 1874

Nicolas Lemery, French pharmacist and chemist, 1874
Nicolas Lemery (1645-1715), 1874. Lemery (1645-1715) gave popular demonstrations in his lecture room. In 1675 he published his Cours de chymie which ran to 13 editions in his lifetime

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Paris Observatory in the time of Louis XIV, 17th century (1870)

Paris Observatory in the time of Louis XIV, 17th century (1870). In 1669 Louis engaged the Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625-1712) to construct and direct the observatory

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Jean Baptiste von Helmont, Belgian physician and chemist, 1870

Jean Baptiste von Helmont, Belgian physician and chemist, 1870. Helmont (1579-1644) recognised that there are more gases than just air, and claimed to have coined the word gas

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Lazzaro Spallanzani, Italian biologist, 1874

Lazzaro Spallanzani, Italian biologist, 1874. Spallanzani (1729-1799) worked on bacteria, disproving spontaneous generation, on digestion, where he was first to use the term gastric juice

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Guillaume Francois Rouelle, 18th century French chemist, 1874

Guillaume Francois Rouelle, 18th century French chemist, 1874. Antoine Lavoisiers teacher and Professor (demonstrateur) at the Jardin du Roi, Paris

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Rene-Antoine Ferchault de Reamur, 18th century French physicist, 1874

Rene-Antoine Ferchault de Reamur, 18th century French physicist, 1874. Ferchault de Reamur (1683-1757) is shown constructing a thermometer using spirit instead of mercury

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Hippocrates of Cos, Ancient Greek physician, 1866

Hippocrates of Cos, Ancient Greek physician, 1866. Known as the father of medicine Hippocrates (c460-c359 BC) laid the foundations of a scientific basis for medicine

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Theophrastus, Ancient Greek philosopher and scientist, 1866

Theophrastus, Ancient Greek philosopher and scientist, 1866. Theophrastus (c372-c287 BC) was a pupil of Plato and of Aristotle who he succeeded as President of the Lyceum in 323 BC

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: William Harvey, English physician, in Windsor Park, 17th century (1870)

William Harvey, English physician, in Windsor Park, 17th century (1870). Harvey (1578-1657) explaining to Charles I the results of his investigations into reproduction

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Sectional view of lead chambers for large-scale production of sulphuric acid, 1870

Sectional view of lead chambers for large-scale production of sulphuric acid, 1870. Also known as Oil of Vitriol or H2S04, sulphuric acid was one of the most important of industrial chemicals

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Sectional view of Gay-Lussacs lead chambers and absorption towers, 1870

Sectional view of Gay-Lussacs lead chambers and absorption towers, 1870. These were for the large-scale production of sulphuric acid also (Oil of Vitriol or H2SO4)

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Antoine-Laurent Jussieu, French botanist, 1880

Antoine-Laurent Jussieu, French botanist, 1880. Born in Lyon, Jussieu (1748-1836), the nephew of the botanist Bernard de Jussieu, studied medicine, graduating in 1770

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Bernard de Jussieu, 18th century French botanist, 1880

Bernard de Jussieu, 18th century French botanist, 1880. A member of the family of distinguished botanists, de Jussieu (1699-1777) was director of the gardens at the Trianon, Versailles

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Paul Jablochkoff, Russian telegraph engineer, 1883

Paul Jablochkoff, Russian telegraph engineer, 1883. In 1867 Jablochkoff (1847-1914) invented the Jablochkoff candle, a carbon arc lamp. From Les Nouvelles Conquetes de la Science by Louis Figuier

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Hippolyte Fizeau, French physicist, 1870

Hippolyte Fizeau, French physicist, 1870. Fizeau (1819-1896) measured the velocity of light on the Earths surface (1849). He used Dopplers principle to determine the velocity of stars in line of

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Joseph Black visiting James Watt in his Glasgow workshop, c1760 (c1879)

Joseph Black visiting James Watt in his Glasgow workshop, c1760 (c1879). Artists impression of Joseph Black (1729-1799), Scottish chemist, visiting James Watt (1736-1819)

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, French astronomer and mathematician, in Finland, 1736, (1874)

Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, French astronomer and mathematician, in Finland, 1736, (1874). In 1736 Maupertuis (1698-1759)

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Galileo observing the swaying of the chandelier in Pisa Cathedral, c1584 (1870)

Galileo observing the swaying of the chandelier in Pisa Cathedral, c1584 (1870). Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), Italian astronomer, mathematician and physicist

Background imageLouis Figuier Collection: Harvey demonstrating circulation of the blood to the College of Physicians, c1628 (1870)

Harvey demonstrating circulation of the blood to the College of Physicians, c1628 (1870). William Harvey (1578-1657), English physician, published his famous De motu cordis



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Louis Figuier was a man of many interests and accomplishments. In the 19th century, he delved into various fields, leaving his mark in each one. As an avid cyclist, Figuier understood the importance of using specific muscles while riding. He studied and analyzed the different muscle groups involved in cycling, contributing to our understanding of this popular sport. In 1889, Figuier turned his attention to nature's wonders by exploring bonsai dwarf pines. His research on these miniature trees shed light on their cultivation techniques and captivated enthusiasts around the world. Figuier's curiosity also led him to Cornish tin mines. Fascinated by the mining industry's intricacies during that era, he documented its operations and shared valuable insights into this vital sector. The medical field greatly benefited from Figuier's work as well. He extensively researched Calots spinal surgery in the 19th century, providing invaluable knowledge for advancements in surgical procedures and patient care. The industrial revolution witnessed significant breakthroughs with Figuier at its forefront. He closely examined oil wells' impact during this period, highlighting their role in shaping modern energy production methods. Another groundbreaking invention that fascinated Figuier was Marconi's radio. Recognizing its potential early on, he chronicled Marconi's achievements and foresaw how it would revolutionize communication forever. Figuier had a deep appreciation for nature and its intricate systems; thus beekeeping became another subject close to his heart. His studies on bees' behavior contributed immensely to apiary practices still used today. One monumental project that captured Figuier's attention was the construction of Manchester Ship Canal in the 19th century. Through meticulous research and documentation, he showcased how this engineering marvel transformed trade routes and bolstered economic growth for Manchester. Even historical discoveries intrigued Figuier; Galileo Galilei's observations of Jovian moons back in 1610 fascinated him.