Air Pump

The following information has not been verified and we would welcome any comments.

Designed and built the air pump used by Robert Boyle in his experiments on the effects of reduced air pressure



Designed and built the Monument in the City of London to commemorate the great fire 1666

Invented the counterbalance weights in sash windows.

Designed and supervised the building of Bethlehem (Bedlam) Hospital.

Designed and built Montague House, the first home of the British Museum.

In association with Christopher Wren they canalised the Fleet River.

Constructed Cheapside and Holborn conduits.

Suggested improvements to the north bank of the Thames.

Designed the Royal College of Physicians.

Designed the Bridewell

Designed Alderman Aske's Hospital, Hoxton.

Designed a building for Magdalene College Oxford, which may be the Pepysian building.

Designed the screen for Merchant Taylors' Hall.

Designed a house for Sir Walter Young in Devon (site unknown).

Designed a house for Lord Oxford in Privy Gardens, Whitehall.

Designed a house for Sir Richard Edgcumbe in Cornwall.

Designed a church for Sir John Lowther in Westmoreland.

Designed Shenfield Place, Brentwood for Lord Vaughan

Designed a house for Lord Burlington, probably Londesborough House.

Designed Ragley Hall for Lord Conway.

Was considerably involved in the alterations to Westminster Abbey.

Supervised the construction of more that 30 of Wren’s London Churches.

Invented a horizontal sail for windmills.

Demonstrated the principle of the catenary curve and its potential application to architecture, notably to the Dome of St. Paul’s.


Invented an air gun


Created five weather monitoring instruments

Constructed first Wheel Barometer

Invented the first instrument in England for measuring wind strength

Designed and built the air pump used by Robert Boyle to do experiments on the properties of air, and effects of reduced air pressure on humans.


First person to coin the word "cell" to describe the tiniest components of living systems - Plants.

Was the first to observe and draw Polyzoans (microscopic animals in sea moss).


Was instrumental in the design and improvements to clocks, especially those crafted by master clockmaker Thomas Tompion

Invented the circular flywheel still used in many analogue watches today

Designed and demonstrated to the Royal Society on 20th February 1668 a marine chronometer employing counter wound spiral springs and double balances as a possible solution to finding longitude.


Defined Hooke's Law which states :-

“When a spring is fixed at one end and a force applied to the other the extension of the spring is proportional to the applied force, provided the elastic limit is not exceeded”

“The deformation of a material is proportional to the force applied”

Hooke illustrated the law by reference to four different experimental situations:-

  • Loading a wire (deformation is increase in length)
  • Loading a spiral spring (deformation is increase in length)
  • Loading a horizontal beam (deformation is the depression of the free end)

Tightening a watch spring (deformation is angular rotation)

He formulated the correct theory of elasticity, stating that an elastic body stretches in proportion to the force that acts upon it


250 years before Darwin he realised the true nature of fossils. He realised they were dead creatures from pre-history and postulated that some had probably died out. Realisation stemmed from his microscopic studies of fossils


Invented an ear trumpet


Invented the Iris diaphragm




Developed the first false keel to improve the stability of ships. Today’s ships have stabilising fins based on this idea


He supported the wave theory of light


Hypothesized that the magnetic poles of the earth were subject to change and reversal and were not fixed


Notionalised the first hypodermic needle from his microscope studies of nettles. He was the first to make an amalgam of mercury which was later used in dentistry.


Formulated the first notion of using microdot blobs of ink for conveying messages secretly


Founded the field of Microscopic Biology through his Published work in 1665 "Micrographia"

Devised one of the best microscopes of his time - the worlds first compound microscope complete with his iris diaphragm and Sotoscope illumination.

Invented the iris diaphragm.

Designed the first telescopic sight with cross hairs.

Brownian Motion, he was the first to observe what was later to be rediscovered by Robert Brown.

Constructed one of the first reflecting telescopes based on the ideas of James Gregory.

A copy of Robert Hooke’s book Micrographia can be read at:

Planetary Motion

Formulated the theory of planetary motion as a problem in mechanics, and demonstrated, for the first time, the elliptical path of planets in their orbits around the sun


First person in England to carry out experiments on the effects of reduced pressure on humans, using himself as the first guinea pig


Created the refractometer to measure the index refraction of liquids


Constructed the first prototype of a respirator

Sash windows

Invented the balance weights used in sash windows



Designed and constructed a way-wiser for the sea, an instrument, similar to an odometer, for measuring the distance traversed by a ship or the speed of water flow.

Solar System

Discovered the red spot of Jupiter and was the first person to report the rotation of this giant planet.

Formulated the theory of Planetary motion as a problem in mechanics and demonstrated, for the first time, the elliptical paths of planets in their orbit around the sun.

Was the first person to conceptualise the theory of gravity and its inverse square effect, from which Newton was able to learn from and develop the mathematics of gravity.

Argued that the earth was an oblate spheroid with a gravity pull variant at different points of the globe.

Designed the first equatorial quadrant.

Was the first to observe and record the existence of sun spots. He designed and built the first Helioscope for studying the sun.

Uranus, he discovered a new planet on 22nd January 1673 100 years before it was rediscovered by William Herschel.

Hypothesizes the initial fluid state of the earth.

Discovered and proved that the comet seen in 1665 was the same one seen in 1618

First person in England to observe stars in daylight using a zenith telescope


Discovered that sound could travel along a wire and around corners.

Determined that sound was the effect of a system of beats, measuring middle C to be 272 beets a second.

Synthetic fibres

Postulated on the possibility of synthetic silk through the spinning of threads of glutinous substances 200 years before they were made


Invented a method of telegraphy based on telescopes and proportional signs in the 17th century


Invented a diving bell.

Invented a depth sounding machine.