This Weeks Inventions

Lesson 111 Mercury Barometer

In the 1500s mining was very important. But the mines would always fill with water, so people made a piston system to pump the water out. But it could not pump higher than 32ft. No matter what people tried it would always stop at this magical number 32ft. Someone wrote to Galileo asking for a solution, but Galileo was not interested, though a man that worked for Galileo named Torricelli was interested in it. Torricelli thought it had something to do with a vacuum, so he did many tests and invented the mercury barometer.

The mercury barometer tells the atmospheric pressure. It made it possible to predict the weather, and even help with meteorology, and got people investigating electricity. Once when someone was swinging their barometer they noticed a glow coming from it. And that got people interested in electricity.

The Vacuum Pump

Otto von Geuricke was inspired by the vacuum experiments that Torricelli did. He was most interested in the vacuum, so he invented the vacuum pump. Many people thought it wasn’t possible to have a vacuum in the world because Aristotle said that it wasn’t possible. So he did demonstrations, one of which he took two half spheres and created a vacuum in them. Then he got 30 horses and had 15 pulling on one side and 15 on the other, and they could not pull the sphere apart, but just when he let a little bit of air in the sphere it fell and split apart. The vacuum pump made it possible to have air conditioning.

My Favourite Invention

My favourite invention that I learned was the vacuum pump. It was so interesting to learn how it was invented, and how even 30 horses could not pull apart a ball with a vacuum in it.


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