Richard Pockrich (1690 - 1759):
Richard Pockrich was born in County Monaghan. His nickname was 'projecting Pock'. At the age of twenty-five he inherited his father's estate which he spent on impractical ventures such as planting vineyards on reclaimed bogs, rearing huge numbers of geese for the European market, or fitting wings to enable every Irish person to fly. However, some of his ideas were genuinely innovative, such as his lifeboat made from unsinkable tin, a projected system of canals for linking the Liffey to the Shannon, and his design for an observatory to be built on a mountain peak. He invented a new form of dulcimer consisting of pins hammered into a pub table and two pieces of brass wire, and developed musical glasses, which he demonstrated at many concerts in England. Dubbed 'the angelic organ', the glasses caught the imagination of Walpole, Gray, Gluck and Benjamin Franklin. He published Miscellaneous Works in 1750 and a volume of poetry. He died in a fire at Hamlin's Coffee House in London.
||10 November 1759