Institute and Museum of History of Science, Florence, ITALY

Inventors & Inventions The theatre of the marvellous operations of air

Portrait of Evangelista Torricelli.
Lezioni accademiche di Evangelista Torricelli, Forence 1715

Letter from Evangelista Torricelli to Michelangelo Ricci, 11th June, 1644

There are things which seem unthinkable to us today. Some people accept them, others push themselves beyond the limits of the unthinkable and discover the impossible. Inventors & Inventions is dedicated to this second group. It is a cultural project which revisits the fundamental stages of progress via the most important discoveries of Italian genius. Leonardo da Vinci, Guglielmo Marconi, Aldo Manuzio, Galileo Ferraris and Evangelista Torricelli: these are the voyagers up till now on the imaginative historical journey of Inventors & Inventions, begun in 1995, conceived and promoted by Festo, world leader in the field of pneumatic components.

This year Inventors & Inventions calls attention to a sensational discovery - atmospheric pressure and the vacuum - which would produce an epoch-making transformation in the philosophy of nature, annihilating in a few decades the long-standing theory of nature's abhorrence of the vacuum. In an evocative and lively working exhibition, we celebrate an outstanding inventor, Evangelista Torricelli, whose crucial 1644 experiment set in motion the brilliant and innovative minds of the main figures of the Scientific Revolution.




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