Outstanding among the activities of the Accademia del Cimento were the experiments designed to determine the speed of sound, utilizing an odometer with an automated revolution counter on the wheel to measure distances precisely. The calculating machines of Tito Livio Burattini (1617-1681) and Samuel Morland (1625-1695) are also linked to the activity of the Cimento and its successors. In 1679 Morland, Secretary of the Royal Society of London, sent Cosimo III de'Medici (1642-1723) two of his inventions: a complex calculating machine and an instrument for determining the value of trigonometric functions. The splendid table fountain with its decorated ceramic base is emblematic of the incorporation of scientific activity into the life of the Court.
Maker unknown, Italian?, 17th cent.
Henri Sutton, Samuel Knibb, London, 1664
Maker unknown, Tuscany, 16th cent.
Christoph Schissler, Hans Christoph Schissler [attr.], German, second half 16th cent.
John Marke, London, 1670