Punch,  56 (1869), 127.

Phœbus and Archimedes



News-Commentary, Drollery


Heat, Light, Energy, Machinery, Charlatanry, Futurism

    After noting the account in Swift 1726 of the extraction of sunbeams from cucumbers, the author discusses a report in the Stockholm periodical Aftonbladet of machines that convert the sun's rays into a motive power equivalent to 'stopping the motion of the earth'. Presents an extract from that periodical explaining the tremendous power of the machine, but warns that such machines will probably not be patented in Britain owing to its lack of sunshine and great 'smoke and fogs'. Expresses fear that such a 'sun-machine', operated by a latter-day Archimedes, would 'send us all to smash'. Suggests that the idea might be useful in 'a century or two', but ends by calling for the invention of bottled sunshine.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]