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Air Pump
1783

Today's vacuum pump
The Reverend John Prince, a Harvard graduate, instrument aficionado, and minister of the Congregationalist First Church in Salem, Massachusetts built this beautiful and powerful air pump. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences published Prince’s detailed description of the pump in 1783. Prince wanted the air pump to be handsome as well as efficient, and he encased the mechanism in a Chippendale cabinet, which is now recognized as one of the finest surviving examples of high-end Boston casework of the period. Prince used this particular instrument to conduct experiments and entertain guests in his house for 20 years, and then sold it to Bowdoin College. The instrument is on loan to the National Museum of American History.

Notes
John Prince (1751-1836)
On loan from Bowdoin College
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