The so-called Top of the Mont Blanc is an inappropriately-named collection piece on display in the Oval Room of Teylers Museum. 4,677 metres (15,344 ft) high on the snow covered summit ridge of the Mont Blanc on 3 August 1787, during one of the first climbs of the mountain by the Swiss scientific pioneer Horace Bénédict de Saussure.The specimen was supposedly cut off from the highest findable piece of exposed rock of the Rocher de la Tournette,
The climb was the second known to reach the top of Mont Blanc after Michel-Gabriel Paccard and Jacques Balmat had already reached the summit a year before, and included around 20 people including De Saussure, his servant and several guides and carriers. The climbing mission was a scientific expedition, during which De Saussure undertook research and executed physical experiments (among other things) on the boiling point of water at different heights. He calculated the height at each of his experiments by measuring how long it took an alcohol burner to boil an amount of water, and by these means he determined the height of the mountain to be 4775 metres. (This later turned out to be 32 metres less than the actual height of 4807 metres). For these experiments De Saussure brought specific scientific equipment, such as a barometer and thermometer. His calculated boiling temperature of water at the top of the mountain was fairly accurate, only off by 0.1 Kelvin.
Teylers Museum was founded just before the climb took place, and at the time serious progress was being made in the research of bedrocks and minerals. The term "geology" was coined by the very initiator of this expedition, De Saussure, and the science was becoming more popular. At that time the museum was still very young and it actively collected knowledge and objects around it and put them on display.
Martinus van Marum acquired the piece from the top of Mont Blanc as well as several other objects from this climb in the fifteen years following it. In 1799, on behalf of the museum, he had already purchased a maquette of Mont Blanc for nine guilders. It had been created in 1787 by the Swiss Charles François Exchaquet and displayed the expedition as well. Although several maquettes were produced at the time, as of 2012 there are only two known to remain - one at Teylers Museum, and one in the Muséum d'histoire naturelle de la Ville de Genève. cm in size, on a 1:15000 scale. Although the dimensions of the maquette are as accurate as possible, the colors are not - they are more informative than accurate. Several drawings and engravings of the view and the expedition were also acquired by Van Marum to complete the set for exhibition. In 1802 he bought the actual "top of the Mont Blanc" together with several other geological samples from Theodore de Saussure (son of the famous geologist), who put together a collection of samples from his father's rocks. The Mont Blanc rock is displayed together with other rocks in the central showcase of the Oval Room. The maquette is also on display in that room.The maquette is believed to be an accurate representation of the mountain and the nearby valley of Chamonix and is 100 by 64 by 35
In 2007 a fictional short film by Mels van Zutphen, titled The tip of Mont Blanc about bringing "the top of the mountain" back to Mont Blanc, was screened at the Dutch Film Festival.
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe, rising 4,808 m (15,774 ft) above sea level. It is the second-highest and second-most prominent mountain in Europe, after Mount Elbrus, and it is the eleventh most prominent mountain summit in the world. The mountain stands between the regions of Aosta Valley, Italy, and Savoie and Haute-Savoie, France. It gives its name to the Mont Blanc massif, which itself forms part of a larger range referred to as the Graian Alps. The location of the summit of Mont Blanc is on the watershed line between the valleys of Ferret and Veny in Italy and the valleys of Montjoie, and Arve in France, on the border between the two countries. Ownership of the summit area has long been a subject of historical dispute between the two countries.
Horace Bénédict de Saussure was a Genevan geologist, meteorologist, physicist, mountaineer and Alpine explorer, often called the founder of alpinism and modern meteorology, and considered to be the first person to build a successful solar oven.
The French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions. While some of the ranges of the French Alps are entirely in France, others, such as the Mont Blanc massif, are shared with Switzerland and Italy.
Teylers Museum is an art, natural history, and science museum in Haarlem, Netherlands. Established in 1778, Teylers Museum was founded as a centre for contemporary art and science. The historic centre of the museum is the neoclassical Oval Room (1784), which was built behind the house of Pieter Teyler van der Hulst (1702–1778), the so-called Fundatiehuis. Pieter Teyler was a wealthy cloth merchant and banker of Scottish descent, who bequeathed his fortune for the advancement of religion, art, and science. He was a Mennonite and follower of the Scottish Enlightenment.
Martin(us) van Marum was a Dutch physician, inventor, scientist and teacher, who studied medicine and philosophy in Groningen. Van Marum introduced modern chemistry in the Netherlands after the theories of Lavoisier, and several scientific applications for general use. He became famous for his demonstrations with instruments, most notable the Large electricity machine, to show statical electricity and chemical experiments while curator for the Teylers Museum.
Jacques Balmat, called Balmat du Mont Blanc (1762–1834) was a mountaineer, a Savoyard mountain guide, born in the Chamonix valley in Savoy, at this time part of the Kingdom of Sardinia.
The Mont Blanc massif is a mountain range in the Alps, located mostly in France and Italy, but also straddling Switzerland at its northeastern end. It contains eleven major independent summits, each over 4,000 metres (13,123 ft) in height. It is named after Mont Blanc, the highest point in western Europe and the European Union. Because of its considerable overall altitude, a large proportion of the massif is covered by glaciers, which include the Mer de Glace and the Miage Glacier – the longest glaciers in France and Italy, respectively.
Michel Gabriel Paccard (1757–1827) was a Savoyard doctor and alpinist, citizen of the Kingdom of Sardinia.
Mont Vélan is a mountain of the Pennine Alps, located on the border between Switzerland and Italy. At 3,727, metres Mont Vélan is the highest summit lying between the Great St Bernard Pass and Grand Combin. Two large glaciers cover its northern flanks: Glacier de Tseudet (west) and Glacier de Valsoray (east). The Glacier de Proz, lying on the west side, was traversed during the first ascent.
Wybrand Hendriks was a Dutch painter, primarily known for his portraits, and the concierge of the Teylers Museum.
The Oval Room in the Teylers Museum was the first part of the museum that was opened in 1784. It could be entered through the garden of the fundatiehuis, the former home of Pieter Teyler van der Hulst. The building has an oval shape built around its centerpiece, a mineralogical cabinet. The Oval Room consists of two floors; the ground floor with its display cabinets and a gallery of books that connects to the Teylers Library. On top of the room, on the roof, the astronomical observatory used to be a landmark that could be seen for miles along the river Spaarne. The gallery and observatory are longer accessible to the public, though the gallery can be seen from the ground floor.
Jacobus Barnaart was a Dutch merchant and one of the five first directors of the Teylers Stichting.
The Teylers astronomical observatory is an astronomical observatory built in 1784 on the roof of the Oval Room of the Teylers Museum in Haarlem.
The Eerste Schilderijenzaal, or Painting Gallery I, is one of two art gallery rooms in Teylers Museum and is the oldest art gallery for contemporary Dutch art in the Netherlands. It was built onto the back of Teylers Oval Room in 1838. It was the young museum's first exhibition space for paintings and could be entered through the Oval Room, which was itself located behind the Fundatiehuis, the former home of Pieter Teyler van der Hulst.
The Instrument Room is a room in Teylers Museum which houses a part of the museum's Cabinet of Physics: a collection of scientific instruments from the 18th and 19th centuries. The instruments in the collection were used for research as well as for educational public demonstrations. Most of them are demonstration models that illustrate various aspects of electricity, acoustics, light, magnetism, thermodynamics, and weights and measures. The rest are high-quality precision instruments that were used for research.
The large electrostatic generator is a large handcrafted electromechanical instrument designed by Martin van Marum and built by John Cuthbertson in 1784 for the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, where it forms the centerpiece of the instrument room. The concept of an electrostatic generator was new, and the battery (array) of leiden jars was the largest ever built. The two glass disks of the generator are 1.65 meters in diameter, and the machine is capable of generating a potential of 330,000 volts.
The Aiguille de Tré-la-Tête is a mountain in the south of the Mont Blanc massif. Its highest point, the central southeast pinnacle, is 3,930 metres (12,894 ft) above sea level and is located in Italy. Only the northwest pinnacle is situated on the border with France. It forms a chain with the Dômes de Miage.
The Goûter Hut, is a mountain refuge in the French department of Haute-Savoie. It is located at a height of 3,835 metres (12,582 ft) on the Arete du Goûter in the municipality of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains. It overlooks the Glacier de Bionnassay, and is the highest wardened mountain hut in France.
Charles-François Exchaquet born 6 December 1746 in Court in the canton of Berne and died in 1792 in Servoz in Savoie, was a Swiss engineer, cartographer and mountaineer.
The Grand Flambeau is a mountain peak in the Mont Blanc massif of the Alps. It is situated at the head of the Géant Glacier, approximately 0.5km east of the Aiguille de Toule, between the Col Orientale de Toule and the Col de Saussure.