Cornelis Drebbel

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Cornelis Drebbel /
Drebbel Knowledge Centre

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Founded by: Francis Franck
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Main topic: Biography
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Cornelis Drebbel in 1623; original wiki logo
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(As of: 2022-04-12)

Cornelis Jacobszoon Drebbel

"a Bold mind, a show-off to the World"

Born in Alkmaar, the Netherlands in 1572, deceased in London, England on 7 November 1633. The Edison of his time; brilliant empiric researcher and innovator, Drebbel’s constructions and innovations covered in particular measurement and control technology, pneumatics, optics, chemistry, hydraulics, and pyrotechnics. With Staten General, he registers several patents: a new invention to elevate fresh water in quantity, a perpetual watch that will run a hundred years and more without winding, improved the flues of chimneys. He wrote some interesting essays about his experiments with air pressure. Made beautiful engravings on the Seven Liberal Arts, and a map of the city of Alkmaar.

The Cornelis Drebbel wiki site is intended to collect knowledge about Cornelis Drebbel's life and works. It covers his early life and family in Alkmaar, his etchings with Hendrick Goltzius in Haarlem, his contemporaries: famous people who influenced him or his remembrance. Furthermore, most of his books and writings are now digitally accessible.

Those interested in Drebbel's innovations should take a look at the Perpetuum Mobile, the Submarine, the use of Oxygen, the Temperature regulator, Lenses, the Perfect Red dye, the Thermometer, the Camera Obscura, Explosives ...

Many historians have studied Drebbel, and many biographies and documents have been written about him. Dr. Naber played a special role in Drebbel's rehabilitation through the 1st Drebbel Society.

Measurement and control technology/pneumatics: Famous for his Perpetuum Mobile, builds and navigates with a submarine, develops torpedos and sea mines. Builds an incubator for eggs, and a portable stove/oven with an optimal use of fuel, able to keep the heat on a constant temperature by means of a regulator/thermostat. Designs a solar energy system for London (perpetual fire), demonstrates air-conditioning, let it rain, makes lightning and thunder 'on command', develops fountains. Involved in the draining of the moors around Cambridge (The Fens). Develops predecessors of the barometer and thermometer, the 'Drebbeliaensch instrument', and harpsichords that play on solar energy.

Optics: Develops an automatic precision lens-grinding machine, builds improved telescopes, constructs the first microscope ('lunette de Dreubells'), camera obscura, laterna magica.

Chemistry: Develops an innovative way to improve and produce scarlet red dye, establishes a dye works in Stratford-at-Bow-on-Lea. Probably makes oxygen for his submarine.

Hydraulics: Makes theatre props, moving statues. Is involved in plans to build a new theatre in London.

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