Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 137,269 pages of information and 220,098 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
c.1721 Joshua Haskins proposed the use of mercury to provide a manometric seal for pump pistons, in place of leather sealing collars, thereby avoiding leakage of air or water, and reducing losses by friction which led to inefficiency and jerkiness. He carried out an experiment at the house of John Theophilus Desaguliers, which Desaguliers repeated before the Royal Society using a model. Haskins died shortly thereafter, and Desaguliers continued with the development work.