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  • Cycloid and inclined rule for brachistocronia, XVIII cent., Museum of Calculation Instruments, Pisa.zoom in altra finestra
  • Gear-cutting machine for watch making, late XIX cent., Museum of Calculation Instruments, Pisa.zoom in altra finestra

Fondazione Galileo Galilei - Museo degli Strumenti per il Calcolo [Galileo Galilei Foundation - Museum of Calculation Instruments]

The Centre for the Conservation and Study of Scientific Instruments was created in 1989 with the purpose of valorising the antique instruments from the Experimental Physics Laboratory of Pisa, which are currently part of the patrimony of the Department of Physics of the University of Pisa. The Centre attends to restoring the instruments and also holds temporary exhibitions. In 1994, the National Museum of Calculation Instruments was born. It is managed by the Galileo Galilei Foundation and, as of 2003, has housed the Centre and its collections.

The collection of calculation instruments (about 2000 pieces) has mechanical, electric and electronic devices, while the collection of scientific instruments contains more than 600 instruments associated with various scientific disciplines (electricity, acoustics, electromagnetism, astronomy, measurements, optics and mechanics). Thermometers, pneumatic machines, scales, astronomical clocks and instruments, testify to the extraordinary development of sciences in Pisa and Tuscany between the 17th century and late 20th century. Among the most significant groupings, let us cite the instruments of Carlo Alfonso Guadagni, the first teacher of Experimental Physics at the University of Pisa from 1749 to 1795, and director of Lord Cowper’s Physics Laboratory in Florence; the pneumatic machine signed and dated by the great builder from Leyden Jan van Musschenbroek; the instruments for the old astronomical observatory; the nineteenth-century instruments and the holding of physicist Antonio Pacinotti, which includes memorabilia, machines and the library (with manuscripts and correspondence). It has recently received the gift of a Galilean compass of the 17th century from the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pisa.


Texts by Alessandro Tosi

English translation by Victor Beard

Last update 22/gen/2008