Page:Evolution of the thermometer.djvu/28

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27
THERMOSCOPES OF THE ITALIANS.

tor of the thermometer, but he merely alludes to the instrument as if well known. In the "Novum Organon," 1620, Bacon describes an inverted "heat-glass," styled "Vitrum calendare," and says it bore "attached to the stem a long narrow strip of paper marked off with degrees at pleasure."

Attempts have been made by Italian authors to secure the credit of inventing the thermometer for another Englishman, Robert Fludd de Fluctibus, a physician and mystic whose books show more erudition than common sense. The Jesuit Franciscus de Lanis, in a work dated 1670, named Fludd as the original inventor, and Clemente, in his life of Galileo, 1793, has the contemptible effrontery to claim that Galileo in 1603 used an instrument made by Fludd. The facts are that about the year 1603 Fludd visited many countries of Europe, including Italy, where he may well have seen the Galileo thermoscope known to savants in Padua. Twelve years after Fludd's return to England, in 1617, he published a work (Utriusque cosmi … historia) in which he described an experiment chiefly borrowed from Hero, of Alexandria. In another work (Philosophia Moysaica) issued in 1638, a year after