Giambattista della Porta

Giambattista della Porta – Natural Magic and the Academy of Secrets

Giambattista della Porta – Natural Magic and the Academy of Secrets

On February 4, 1615, Italian scholar, polymath and playwright Giambattista della Porta passed away. Besides occult philosophy, astrology, alchemy, mathematics, meteorology, and natural philosophy, della Porta worked on cryptography and also on optics. He claimed to be the inventor of the telescope although he does not appear to have constructed one before Galileo [4]. “Having observed the forces of all things natural and celestial and having examined by painstaking investigation the sympathy among…
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Thomas Newcomen and the Steam Engine

Thomas Newcomen and the Steam Engine

On February 26 (or maybe also 24), 1664, English inventor Thomas Newcomen was born, who created the first practical steam engine for pumping water, the Newcomen steam engine. Steam Engines As we know from a previous article on James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution [5], Watt was the one improving Newcomen‘s engine in the 18th and 19th century. Since the knowledge about the power of working with steam had been around for…
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