The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf

30 December 1778   Wednesday
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30 December 1812   Wednesday

Morning hazy, wind SW, cool but pleasant. I spent the forenoon, after breakfast at James T....., downtown. Samuel Longstreth went to Ury this evening early having heard that Sally was now indisposed. I intended to have gone but received an invitation to see a self moving machine made by Lukens in imitation of Redheffer's. It was made by subscription among some opponents of Redheffer's machine expecting to prove that it would not go without the secret power which they suspect he has in some part of his. I was informed that there were to be but six persons present and that we should have a fair opportunity to examine it. I concluded to stay in town this night and return in the morning. I accordingly rode this afternoon to SW Jr's. who accompanied me to see my lot on South Broad Street to advise me on the subject of letting it out on ground rents[?] on a plan proposed by my friend O Jones. We shall confer further about it. I then paid visits to Redwood, Dr. Gl... (out) and went to B. Fisher's lecture. It was upon astronomy, particularly p........., he did not explain it with as much clearness as I have heard him do on some other subjects. I understood him but among his class was a majority of children who could not comprehend it. His conclusion with electrical experiments with a good machine made up for the other by going to their feelings. Before 8 I went to Johnson & Warner Store and ... from thence introduced to a house in Fourth Street, where as I suppose the late William Warner lived. I expected to find but six or eight persons, but the room was soon crowded with between 20 and 30 or perhaps more. The machine was upstairs but was soon brought thence, being a cold chamber to the back parlor where was a good fire, being placed on a table. Lukens did something to it and it proceeded very slowly, they say about six revolutions per minute. I read my explanation of Redheffer's machine, and called on Lukens to inform us whether this was conformable to it. I especially asked whether the motion caused by the Carrs[?] upon the inclined plane acted first on the upright shaft or on the hanging wheel. He told me he did not know. I expressed some surprise that the maker of it did not know the first principle of it. During the time of my examination of it he very often came to it and with his hand moved the wheel back for several turns with a jerk after which it stopped and then proceeded in the proper direction for a little while when he can and repeated his jerk and thus acted several times and afterwards informed us that a company of ladies was waiting near at hand for our dispersion to come and see it. The machine was taken from the table and set in a dark corner of the room, and I came away without any satisfactory examination of the machine. ____ Benjamin Warner, B. Tucky[?] and one or two others returned with me to Samuel Longstreth's where we had a few oysters and strong suspicions were mentioned that this instrument was to quiz people. Letter to M. K...[?] put into post office today.

30 December 2005

Genetic Engineering 001

Genetic Engineering 003

30 December 2022   Friday
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