John Wilkins Mathematical Magick 1648


Above is a sketch  of a mathematical instrument from John Wilkins Mathematical Magic. The book was written in 1648 and it was an elaborate work on “One of the most easy, pleasant, useful part of mathematics,” as John Wilkins announced on the title page. John Wilkins describes mathematical magic as practical learned knowledge. John Wilkins Mathematical Magic is divided into two books. One book is called Archimedes, or mechanical powers because Archimedes discovered mechanical powers. The other book is called Daedalus, or mechanical motions.

At the top left of the sketch is a man’s face blowing on what appears to be a wind chime. The instrument above I assume measures wind. Also on the instrument there are circle-shaped parts where one is on top of the other. This probably used for measuring something. You can also tell it was sketched because it is in black and white. Moreover its design makes it look like it was hand drawn. At the right of the sketch there is a tree. At the top right of the sketch there seems to be a hand poking out of the tree potentially stopping the wind chime. In conclusion this instrument has a very intricate design and leaves a lot of ambiguity to what the sketch actually is about.

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