Prince Rupert's Drops

Brodsley, L. et al.
Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London
41, No. 1 (Oct., 1986), pp.1-26
Royal Society

Opening paragraph

On 4 March 1660-61 'glass bubbles' were first introduced to a meeting of the Royal Society. According to the minutes, 'The King sent by Paul Neile five little glass bubbles, two with liquor in them, and the three solid, in order to have the judgement of the society concerning them.' The Royal Society responded with remarkable celerity: its amanuensis produced some more drops two days later, which 'succeeded in the manner with those sent by the king'. A very full report of the experiments performed was given to the Royal Society on 14 August 1661 by the President, Sir Robert Moray. As the Royal Society did not at this time have a normal publication series the report was recorded in the Register Book and first published by Merret as an appendix to his translation of Neri's Art of Glass. Henry Oldenburg lent Sir Robert's account to the French traveller Monconys in 1663 who made his own translation into French of the prescription making the drops. Monconys published this prescription in the second part of his Voyages.