Von Guericke’s demonstration re-created

Prof. Charles Stirling with his re-creation of von Guericke's sphere

Prof. Charles Stirling with his re-creation of von Guericke’s sphere

As part of the Festival Of The Mind, Professor Charles Stirling entertained an audience of Sheffield folk in the Spiegeltent, in Barker’s Pool. An illustrated talk explaining the history of the demonstration was delivered in Professor Stirling’s inimitable style, made all the more theatrical by his magnificent costume.

Out in Barker’s Pool, two teams of animals (camel, cows, horses) tried to separate two hemi-spheres, held together by atmospheric pressure.

The air in the sphere, manufactured in the university’s workshop, was removed by a vacuum pump that was a re-creation of von Guericke’s design, though the job was completed using an electric pump to save time.

The animals were students from Hallam Univesity and were “trained” by Rev. Dr. Richard Walton of the same.