2Ctesibius Alexandrinus was the first who found out the properties of the wind, and of pneumatic power, the origin of which inventions is worthy of being known. Ctesibius, whose father was a barber, was born at Alexandria. Endowed with extraordinary talent and industry, he acquired great reputation by his taste for his mechanical contrivances. Wishing to suspend a mirror in his father’s shop, in such a way that it might be easily raised and lowered by means of a concealed cord, he used the following expedient.
2Methods of making water clocks have been investigated by the same writers, and first of all by Ctesibius the Alexandrian, who also discovered the natural pressure of the air and pneumatic principles. It is worth while for students to know how these discoveries came about. Ctesibius, born at Alexandria, was the son of a barber. Preëminent for natural ability and great industry, he is said to have amused himself with ingenious devices. For example, wishing to hang a mirror in his father’s shop in such a way that, on being lowered and raised again, its weight should be raised by means of a concealed cord, he employed the following mechanical contrivance.