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Demainbray's Archimedean screw
King George III
Model of an Archimedean screw, maker unknown, before 1753. Once belonged to Stephen Demainbray.
Demainbray's optical model
King George III
Optical model of a spectrum with inverted colours, maker unknwon, 1752. Once belonged to Stephen Demainbray. A handwritten inscription on the base reads: 'Prism screen & convex lens/Colours inverted '4''.
Watch in a puddingstone, gold and diamond case by John Le Roux
Verge escapement watch with a puddingstone and gold consular case, inset with rose diamonds, by John Leroux. White enamel dial with gold hands and dial winding. Movement signed ‘Jno. Leroux, London 351’. Late 18th century.
Gold repoussé watch depicting the Choice of Hercules, by John Ellicott.
Pair-cased gold watch with outer case in high repoussé. Movement by John Ellicott, London, case signed Manly F and hallmarked 1767 – 1768. Outer case in gold repoussé, the inner case in plain gold. White enamel dial with Arabic hour numerals and gold hands. Cylinder escapement with diamond endstone. Backplate signed ‘Ellicott London 6027’. Dust cap, also signed ‘Ellicott London 6027’.
George III's tidal demonstration model
King George III
Apparatus to demonstrate tidal motion, made by George Adams, Fleet Street, London, 1762.
Twelve-inch quadrant by John Bird
Twelve-inch quadrant on pillar stand with two plumb bobs, two glass beakers and two detachable reading microscopes, by John Bird, Strand, London, England, 1760-1769. This instrument has its original mahogany case. This type of quadrant was used by Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook during his first voyage of exploration aboard HMS Bark Endeavour (1768–1771).
Gold lever escapement watch by John Leroux
Gold pair-cased lever escapement watch by John Leroux, London. Gold cases stamped VW (for casemaker Valentine Walker) and hallmarked for 1785 – 1786. White enamel dial signed 'Leroux London'. Central minute hand with subsidiary dials for hours and seconds. Gold hands. Details of lever escapement; all the impulse is given by the inclines on the hook-shaped teeth of the steel escape-wheel, to pointed pallets on the lever. The short lever is placed tangentially to the escape-wheel. The pallets embrace only two teeth of the escape-wheel. A jewel set in the tail of the lever moves between the adjustable banking pins. The balance staff has a cranked roller for impulse and unlocking, and a separate roller for the safety-dart. The design of this escapement provides draw. The balance is a four-arm steel wheel with timing screws and with two bi-metallic arms fixed to it, with stops to limit their outward movement. The free-sprung balance-spring is conical in shape. Full plate movement with fusee and stop lever. Movement signed 'J. Leroux Charg. Cross London'.
Round wooden box of powdered glass
James Watt's Garret Workshop
1 Box Window glass, prepared
Wax male figure showing the arteries of the body, Florence, Italy, 1776-1780
Anatomy & Pathology
Wax male figure, showing arterial system, Italian, 1776-1780
Model of a 28 gun frigate
Model, scale 1:48, rigged, of a 28 gun frigate (c.1785), rigged by Science Museum, Workshops 1907, unsigned, England, 1770-1780. Actual ship designed by Sir John Williams, England, United Kingdom.
Altazimuth theodolite by Benjamin Cole & Son, London, 1755-65. Without wooden tripod base.
Wax male figure showing the veins and some organs of the body, Florence, Italy, 1776-1780
Anatomy & Pathology
Wax male anatomical figure, showing venous and some organs, in case, by Susini and Calenzuoli, Florence, 1776-1780
English wooden doll,circa 1780, of simple skittle
Materials Science Gallery
English wooden doll,circa 1780, of simple skittle form with painted gessoed head, applied brown wig,fabric arms, in remains of original gown.
Clarke's Hydrometer (c. 1755), 22 screw on weights
Clarke's Hydrometer (c. 1755), 22 screw on weights, 8 stem weights, stamped CLARKE LONDON NO 2904; in solid mahogany case.
Porcelain eyebath, with moulded stem and bowl, Caughley ware, English, c. 1780
Set of magnetical apparatus in case, by Adams
Electricity and Magnetism
Set of magnetical apparatus in case, by Adams
Spoon with folding handle
Wooden spoon with lid which folds back to form handle, possibly for castor oil, 1778
Chronometer watch in silver case
Chronometer watch in silver case by John Arnold and Son, London, no.360/661, case. Hall marked 1788
Saw (tenon) used by Samuel Crompton. 12 t.p.i. bl
Hand and Machine Tools
Saw (tenon) used by Samuel Crompton. 12 t.p.i. blade. c.1750-1770.
Textile printing block, rectangular
1760-1775 probable date
Textile printing block of irregular rectangular shape, boxwood faced design with some use of metal pins; ornate column with large flowers arranged around it and probably used for soft furnishing. Made in England, probably c. 1760-1775.
Mezzotint portrait of John Bird
Print (mezzotint). Engraved by Valentine Green after John Lewis; published by Valentine Green, London, 1776. Titled 'JOHN BIRD of LONDON, | Who furnished the Chief Observatories of the World, with the most Capital Astronomical Instruments divided by him after an improved | method of his own, in a manner superior to any executed before, for which, and many other Improvements in the Construction of | Astronomical Instruments, he was honoured with a considerable Recompence from the Commissioners of Longitude. | Died the 31st. March 1776, in the 67th. year of his age.' The print is a half-length portrait of John Bird, shown seated at a table in front of a curtain backdrop. Lying on the table are a beam compass, Bird's publication 'The Method of Constructing Mural Quadrants', and a diagram of a mural quadrant lettered 'J. Bird Sculp'. The composition is enclosed by a simple, rectangular trompe-l’oeil frame. Lettered underneath the image with title, and maker and publication details as follows: 'Lewis Pinxit.'; 'Engraved by V. Green, Engraver to his Majesty, & to the Elector Palatine.'; 'Published Decr. 2, 1776, by V. Green, Engraver to his Majesty &c. Salisbury Street, Strand.'
Portrait mezzotint print from engraving of Phelps Thomas and Bartlett John, 1778
Portrait mezzotint print of Phelps Thomas, made by Watson James, Printed & Published March 14th 1778 by Bretherton James No.134 New Bond Street, London, ; 45x31cm., image platemark 35.3x27.8cm., text platemark 7x27.7cm, frame 57.5x42.5x2cm. Image plate cut at bottom, figures placed on globe and regulator, inscription added beneath on separate plate. Pull trimmed to platemarks. Watermark: IHS (similar to Heawood 2997). Phelps stands in observatory at Shirburn Castle, seat of Parker George 2nd Earl Macclesfield, looking through transit telescope. Bartlett, his assistant, perched on observer's chair frame, prepares to record. Foreground, celestial globe; background L, telescope with altazimuth mounting on braced tripod stand; R, astronomical regulator. Phelps Thomas(1694-) began as a stableman for Parker George, President of the Royal Society (1952-1764) and from 1742 became Observer in the Earl's Observatory. He was the first person in England to detect the great comet of 1743. Barlett John (1724-) was originally a shepherd and became the Assistant Observer in the Earl's Observatory
Satirical print of a failed balloon launch from Foley House, London in 1784
Print (etching with aquatint). Satirical depiction of John Sheldon and Allen Keegan’s failed balloon launch from the gardens of Lord Foley’s house in Portland Place, London, in September 1784. The balloon’s enormous shape is exaggerated to resemble a human bottom from which flames erupt and smoke billows. A much smaller balloon appears to shoot out of the fire, in the form of a grinning head with ass's ears wearing a jester’s cap lettered ‘THE ENGLISH BALLOON 1784’. Spectators watch from the ground and the garden wall as people attempt to bring the situation under control. Lettered underneath the image ‘Caelum ipsum petimus Stultitia’ ['In our foolishness, we reach for the sky itself'], from Horace, Odes 1.3. Designed and etched by Paul Sandby, probably London, 1784.
Etching of an electrically powered garden
Etching entitled ‘A MACHINE for a Perpetual Electrified GARDEN’. The print shows an imagined scene in which a small group of men and women in Georgian dress are inspecting an electrified garden inside a large greenhouse. The garden consists of numerous potted plants which sit in a rectangular stand raised slightly off the ground. The stand is connected at the right-hand side to an apparatus which uses hydraulic power to generate electricity for stimulating plant growth. The various components of the apparatus and the garden are lettered for identification from a key (not in the Science Museum Group's collections). Etcher unknown. Published in Benjamin Martin’s General Magazine (London, 1755).
Praeclarissimus Isaacus Newton Eques
Print. Engraving, Praeclarissimus Isaacus Newton Eques, by G. Bickham, published by Robert Sayer, 8 May 1787. Depicting Isaac Newton in portrait bas-relief medallion format, bust profile to R, inset in geometric rays, centre of starry firmament with allegorical figures, putti, and assorted scientific instruments - scales, telescopes, dividers etc. Trimmed to 35 x 24 cm, image 34 x 23 cm. In frame 51x37.5x2.5cm.
Mezzotint: Portrait of John Arnold
Susan Esther Reid
print, mezzotint, portrait of John Arnold (1736?-1799), painted by R Davy, engraved by SE Reid, n.d. [c1765-70?]. Dedicated to the Royal Society of Arts by Susan Esther Reid. Sitter shown TQL turning to R seated holding chronometer, book of tables beside inkstand on table. [probably] After the oil by Robert Davy, 1765, inv.1868-248. In frame 53x42x1.5cm
Engraving, line, with etching: ... the New Invented Expedition Crane..., John Webb the Inventor. [dedicated to the Royal Society of Arts]. Isaac Taylor del. et sculpt. Published October 1764. Platemark 46.3x32.8cm on sheet 51x38cm. Crane pulley system powered by horse whin to move buckets up and down from coal barge 'Laying up coals in a Magazine, as Set forth by the Inventor in the Gazetteer April 16 1764'. In frame 65x51x2cm
Mezzotint portrait of Benjamin Franklin
Mezzotint portrait: B. Franklin of Philadelphia, LLD,FRS, M. Chamberlin pinxt. E. Fisher fecit. (2nd State). Imprint: Sold by M.Chamberlinin Stewart ST., Old Artillery Ground, Spittalfolds, (London). 39x28cm.
Mr Lunardi's New Balloon
Drawing, pencil, pen and line with sepia wash. Mr. Lunardi's New Balloon ascending with Mr. Biggin and Mrs. Sage from the Royal George Rotunda in St. George's Fields, near London. By I. Cordy, a spectator. . Image 36x24cm. With technical detail of gantry, supplies, large crowd of spectators. In frame 51x37x1.5cm. 29 June 1785
Engraving of a demonstration to compare lightning conductor designs
Engraving. A View of the Apparatus and part of the Great Cylinder in the Pantheon. M.A. Rooker del. ; Engrav'd by J. Basire. n.d. [1778-1780?]. Platemark 19.7x25cm on sheet 25.7x31.5cm. Scene of Benjamin Wilson's cylinder electrostatic generator with huge [lightning] conductors. In frame 37x41x1.5cm
Joseph Priestley LLD FRS
Print. Engraving, line. Joseph Priestley LLD FRS. [state before imprint?]. [Published ... J Walker, 1 February 1782]. Image 15.5x9.5cm on sheet 28x19.5cm. Portrait, Bust profile to l, in wig and gown, in oval within rectangle,; above, foliage decoration; below on shelf, books, palette and electrical apparatus. In frame 30x22x1.5cm
Lunardi's second balloon ascending from St. George's Fields, 1785
Julius Caesar Ibbetson
Painting, [Lunardi's second balloon ascending from St. George's Fields] / Julius Caesar Ibbetson, c.1785. Oil on canvas, 52x62cm in gilt frame 60x71x5.5cm. Formerly thought to have been by George Day, this is now attributed to Julius Caesar Ibbetson, and is a fuller version of the smaller oil by him in the Museum of London. A version exhibited at the Royal Academy London, 1788 (cat. 126). Shows the ascent from St. George's Fields, Islington, London, of George Biggin and Mrs. Sage, 29 June 1785; showing crowds, gantry, gas apparatus and Lunardi's balloon; balloon ascension; gas balloon; gantry
Joseph Wright of
Painting. Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1792), by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1790. Oil on canvas; 76.5x64.2cm in gilt frame 80.5x93.5x6.5cm. After the full length oil commissioned by the sitter, 1789-90. Commissioned from Wright by Jedediah Strutt, friend and patron of sitter; by family descent, the 'Belper' Arkwright; in contemporary Belper family frame. Portrait: HL looking to L, in red coat with striped yellow-green waistcoat.
Watt's second separate condenser, 1765.
Model of cylinder with separate condenser, formerly described as the "original" model.
Saw used to amputate the bones in the hand, Europe, 1770-1790
Metacarpal bow-frame saw designed by Benjamin Bell, c. 1750
English coin-weights and scales by John William Herbertz
Weighing & Measuring
Mahogany case (6 3/8"x3 1/4"x7/8") of English coin-weights and scales by John William Herbertz, London, 1775. Length of beam 4.45, sensitivity 0.2 grains
Copy of clay liver used for divination, original from Babylon, 2050-1750 BCE
Classical & Medieval Medicine
Babylonian clay liver used for divination, c.2050-1750 BC, copy, 1981
Cronebane halfpenny token
Coins, Medals & Tokens
Token, copper, 29mm diameter. Cronebane halfpenny, 1789. (DH Wicklow 3). Associated Irish Mine Company, Ireland; Chas Roe, Macclesfield. Issuer Associated Irish Mine Co., 1789, ½d. Obverse Bust of St Patrick. Reverse Arms: 2 shovels, bugle-horn, 3 pickaxes. Crest: A windlass. Notes The Cronebane copper mine was one of the chief mines (about 6 miles from Wicklow).
Carding machine by Arkwright, 1775, believed to be from Cromford Mill
Carding machine by Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1792), England, 1771-1780. Believed to be from Cromford Mill, Derbyshire.
Original mirror for William Herschel's forty-foot telescope, 1785.
The first 48-inch speculum mirror cast by Sir William Herschel in 1785 for his 'Forty-Foot' telescope at Slough, England.
John Harrison, oil painting
Painting. John Harrison (1693-1776) / Thomas King, c1767. Oil on canvas; 125x100cm in gilt frame 144.5x120x8cm. - Titled centre l, on chronometer, John Harrison. - Portrait: Sitter nearly TQL seated to L beside table holding in right hand, watch made to his design by John Jeffries 1753. Third timekeeper H3, for ascertaining Longitude, delineated in background L. Chronometrical drawing. l. Invention of compound pendulum, background R.
Battery of Leyden jars made by Henry Cavendish
Electricity and Magnetism
Battery of 18 Leyden jars, housed in a wooden box, about 1775, made and used by Henry Cavendish for electrical experiments in his private laboratory at Clapham Common, London.
Cassegrain reflecting telescope, 1762-1774
Cassegrain reflecting telescope of 6 inch aperture by Jesse Ramsden, London on an adjustable equatorial mounting with 2 spirit levels and 3 levelling screws. Accessories include, a filar micrometer, 3 small speculum mirrors, 3 eyepieces [1 by Nairne & Blunt], 2 adjustor keys and a finder telescope.
Orrery planetary model by James Ferguson, 1755-1756
Wooden pulley Orrery with case by James Ferguson, London to illustrate the motions of the Moon and Earth around the Sun, c.1755.
Atmospheric Engine by John Smeaton, 1772
1772 (original); 1919 (model)
working model, sectioned, scale 1:12, John Smeaton's atmospheric engine at Long Benton Colliery, 1772
Cassegrain reflecting Telescope of 2 1/2-inch aper
Cassegrain reflecting Telescope of 2 1/2-inch aperture, by James Short, London [224/908 = 9.6] on claw foot pillar stand with divided object-lens micrometer in wooden case.
Navigator's Gunter scale
Navigator's Gunter scale in boxwood 24" long, as improved by Benjamen Donn, c.1775