Ferdinand Verbiest – The Emperor’s New Astronomy (1601-1688)

Illustration of Verbiest’s steam car.
  • Article (book chapter)
  • 29 pages
  • Level: high school and above

The 2017 book Lost Science: Astonishing Tales of Forgotten Genius by author Kitty Ferguson consists of ten free-standing chapters covering different figures from the history of science.  The chapter on the astronomer Fr. Ferdinand Verbiest, of the Society of Jesus, focuses on his mission work in China.  It also discusses the “automobile” that he invented—a steam-powered, self-propelled toy car.  Verbiest both spent time in prison in China and became a great friend of the Chinese Emperor.

Click here for information from Sterling Publishing, publisher of Lost Science: Astonishing Tales of Forgotten Genius.

Click here for a preview of this chapter.