Barton, John 1771 - 1834

English; British

(1771-1834), engineer

John Barton was born on the 5th August 1771 in Plymouth. He developed a micrometer, which he called the "Atometer" that was used for measuring small distances using a differential-screw technique, a Ruling Engine, and patented a method of creating metal ornaments engraved with parallel lines, using diffraction to create colours. An example of the latter is "Barton's Buttons", which were gold buttons stamped with a hard steel die on which Barton had cut hexagonal patterns.

Barton served as deputy comptroller of the Royal Mint in the early part of the nineteenth century and later as Treasurer to Queen Adelaide. After his death, his wife Ann gave John Harrison's last pendulum clock to the Royal Astronomical Society. Barton's wife was the granddaughter of John Harrison (1693-1776), of longitude fame.

Barton died at Windsor on 25 August 1834. He had become a frequent and well received visitor to Windsor Castle, and his memorial plaque is now to be seen in St. George's chapel there.