The search for sustainable energy in 1869

Continuing our theme of engines, this week's pamphlet is Power without Fuel by James Baldwin, published in New York in 1869.  In this pamphlet, Baldwin explains his attempts to design an engine that isn't dependent on coal, wood, oil, gas, or other combustible fuel. His idea (he wasn't the first to think of it) was a variation on the carbonic acid motor: an engine that would run on a solution of carbon dioxide in water.  Engineers investigated carbonic acid engines as a possible replacement for steam power in the nineteenth century.  While the gasoline engine won out in the end, there are several turn-of-the-century patents for carbonic acid motors in the United States and Europe.  Today, we'd probably say that Baldwin was attempting to develop alternative energy, an endeavor which is one of the University of Missouri's four strategic research areas

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MERLIN catalog record

 

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Monday Manuscript: 630-year-old notebooks from notary Bernard de la Turade

This week's manuscript is the register of Bernard de la Turade (or Iurade), a medieval notary.  The two notebooks contain documentation of wills, marriage contracts, and sales in several cursive hands.  The first volume has a large vellum tab that would have helped its original owner to identify it on the shelf – think of it as the ancestor to a modern-day file folder tab.  There are even a few fourteenth-century doodles at the end!

More information and images at the Digital Scriptorium, or view the MERLIN catalog record.

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Eighteenth-century artificial limbs, clockwork figurines, boat winches, and more!

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Machines et inventions approuvées par l’Académie royale des sciences, depuis son établissement jusqu’à présent; avec leur description. Dessinées & publiées du consentement de l’Académie, par M. Gallon.  Paris, G. Martin [etc.], 1735-77.

MERLIN catalog record.  Recently restored through the Adopt a Book Program.

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