This vintage image was included in a science lesson on the difference between volume and quantity. Volume is the amount of space taken up by an item.
The author asked students to consider a flask of water. The water particles fill the entire flask.
However, as you can see filling the flask with marbles leaves a great deal of space within the flask. The large marbles can’t be packed into the flask tightly. Rape seed, which is much smaller than the marbles, more completely fills the flask but still leaves some space. You could easily add most, if not all of the rape-seed to the flask of marbles and together they would take up the same volume as the marbles alone or the full flask of water does. Using the even smaller sand particles, you can see that they fill the flask more completely while still occupying the same volume.
The point of the demonstration is to show particles of one body may thus enter into the spaces left between those of another without increasing its volume
This science lesson on volume was included in The Boy’s Playbook of Science, a publication that dates all the way back to 1869. The author John Henry Pepper also created many of the illustrations as well.
This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.