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Science Museum Handbook of Pumping Machinery

Nature volume 131, page 542 (15 April 1933) | Download Citation



THE recently issued handbook to the collection of pumping machinery at the Science Museum (H.M. Stationery Office, 2s. 6d. net) prepared by Mr. G. F. Westcott, should be of widespread interest. It is not a catalogue to the exhibits but a general introduction to the development of pumps illustrated by drawings and photographs of actual plant or models. The ground it covers extends from the earliest baling appliances to the most recent molecular vacuum pumps. After a general review of what may be called the philosophy of pumping, there are four sections dealing in turn with pumps for liquids, pumps for gases, high vacuum pumps and multiple purpose pumps. There are thirty plates in all, including a reproduction of the Museum chart illustrating the development of pumping machinery. This ingeniously worked-out chart might prove useful in many technical schools. One illustration of great historical interest is that of the famous pumping plant erected at Marly by order of Louis XIV for supplying water from the Seine to the fountains at Versailles. With its fourteen water-wheels, its 253 pumps and its connecting mechanism, it was probably the largest machine ever erected. Its effective horse power, however, was very small and it is said that the King of Denmark once remarked to Louis that his water cost him as much as his wine.

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