Adams, George 1709 - 1772

English; British

(d 1772) Mathematical Instrument Maker

George Adams, baptised in 1709 was an instrument maker based in Fleet Street, London. In 1724 George was apprenticed in the Grocers' Company to James Parker, mathematical instrument maker, however in 1734 he started his own business as a maker of mathematical instruments in Fleet Street, ‘near the Castle Tavern’, a few doors from Shoe Lane, adopting the sign of Tycho Brahe's Head. The business continued at various addresses in Fleet Street for eighty-three years.

Adams became mathematical-instrument maker to His Majesty's Office of Ordnance, an appointment that provided an important source of income and resulted in hundreds if not thousands of commissions. In 1761, George III commissioned a large group of philosophical instruments from the London instrument-maker George Adams. The purchase sprang from a complex plan of moral education devised for Prince George in the late 1750s by the third Earl of Bute.

In 1772, George senior died of an ‘apoplectic fit’ at the age of 63. The family business was taken over by his widow, Ann, and shortly after by his eldest son, George junior, who had just completed his apprenticeship with another instrument maker. By 1785, young George had become established in the local scientific community and was elected to the Chapter House Philosophical Society.