Natural Science Day 2015

Hands-on nature and science - "Better than the funfair!"
Kantonsschule Schaffhausen, Saturday 9 May 2015

On the occasion of its 200th anniversary, the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) wanted to demonstrate the importance of the natural sciences to a wide audience. The main event was the "Natural Sciences Day" on May 9, 2015 at the Kantonsschule Schaffhausen. There, the organizers covered a wide range of topics from "nature" and the natural sciences to their applications in crafts and technology.

The Iron Library, together with the Corporate Archives of GF, was present with its own stand on "Natural Sciences Day", which had the motto "Magic machines".

Magic machines

400 years of "Magic machines"

From copperplates to the digital world

Isaac de Caus: "Nouvelle invention de lever l'eau plus haut que sa source" (1657) [New invention for raising water higher than its source]

The magic machines in question are exactly 400 years old in 2015 – just twice as old as the Academy of Sciences. The starting points of the presentation are two books published by Salomon de Caus (1576-1626) and his brother Isaac de Caus (1560-1648) in 1615 and 1657. In these books, Salomon and Isaac construct a universe made up from various machines and automatons.

The Iron Library is one of the few libraries in the world that has original editions of the above mentioned books by Salomon and Isaac de Caus in its holdings. On "Natural Sciences Day" we will exhibit the books and at the same time move the included copperplates into the digital age. Rüdiger Mach, an engineer from Karlsruhe, has developed digital 3D models and animations from Salomon de Caus’ copperplates. These animations not only breathe life into the machines, but also make their functionality comprehendible.

"Magic machines made in Schaffhausen"

250 years after de Caus, Johannes Rauschenbach designed and produced agricultural machinery in Schaffhausen, including such magical-looking machines as the "hail cannon".

The stand offered a brief overview of the history of Maschinenfabrik Rauschenbach, which was taken over by GF in the 1920s.

Film about the magic machines of Salomon de Caus

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