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Cloth tape measure
Hand and Machine Tools
One flexible, cloth tape measure on reel with measurements in feet and inches one side and links on other, enclosed in leather case, made by John Rabone, Birmingham. Sold under the trade name of 'Hockley Abbey', the tape measure comes from a shipwright's tool chest dated to the 1850s.
Bullion box containing lead shot
Miscellanea & Curiosities
Bullion Box, South Eastern Railway, box containing lead shot from Great Gold Robbery from London - Paris via Folkestone train on 15 May 1855.
Architect's model of S&J Watts' warehouse
Architecht's model of S & J Watts' warehouse, made around 1850.
Scale drawing of Nottingham Water Works Engine House, England, 1851-1860
[Engineering drawing] Nottingham Water Works. No. 12. Longitudinal Section of Engine House; Transverse Section of Boiler House / [T. Hawksley & Co. Line drawing with colour wash. Scale 1/4" : 1'. This item is on SM transparency BUI/C000013]
scale with metal stand for Thompson mirror speaking galvanometer, 1858
Scale on stand, for Thomson mirror speaking galvanometer, made by Elliott Brothers, Strand, London, England, 1858
Cast iron Columbian printing press
Printing & Writing
Columbian hand printing press; cast iron with eagles and serpents moulded into casting. Lever operated, and painted black.
Model paddle wheel engines of the SS 'Great Eastern'
Model paddle wheel engines of the "Great Eastern" steamship, 1858.
Specimen of Dover-Calais telegraph cable, 1851
Specimen of Dover to Calais telegraph cable showing corrosion, made by R S Newall and Company, Millwall, London, England, 1851
Portion of the first submarine cable between Dover and Calais, 1850
Portion of the first submarine cable laid between Dover and Calais, made by the Gutta Percha Company, Islington, London, England, 1850.
sample of deep-sea section of first transatlantic cable, 1857-1858
Sample of deep-sea section of first transatlantic cable mounted on wooden presentation block, made by Glass, Elliot and Company, Greenwich, London, England, 1857-1858.
William Thomson's marine mirror galvanometer, 1850-1900
William Thomson's marine mirror galvanometer, made by Siemens and Halske, Berlin, Germany, 1850-1900.
Wax portrait of Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (1780 – 1854)
Wax portrait of Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (1780-1854) by Richard Cockle Lucas 1851
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, English civil engineer, mid-19th century.
Plaster bust of Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Specimen of telegraph cable laid in Birmingham in 1856
Specimen of early telegraph cables laid in Birmingham in 1856, unearthed in 1898, unknown maker, British, 1856. 12 gutta-percha covered copper wires, each wire being around 1.67mm in diameter, making it most likely a No. 16 gauge wire of the period. The gutta-percha covering makes each wire 5.6mm in diameter
Pioneers of Electric Telegraphy at the British Association
Framed photograph of 'Pioneers of Electric Telegraphy at the British Association Birmingham 1865', unknown maker, British, 1865
Portable double-needle telegraph and test set, 1850
Portable double-needle telegraph and test set, with removable wooden cover, unknown maker, possibly British, 1850
Henley needle galvanometer, 1855-1860
Henley needle galvanometer used in receiving the first telegraphic message transmitted across the Atlantic Ocean, made by W T Henley, British, around 1858.
Writing machine for blind people, United Kingdom, 1862
Printing & Writing
Martin's writing machine for use by blind people, 1862. The carriage of the machine is moved one space at a time when the printing lever is operated by the engagement of a pawl with a rack. On the carriage is mounted a circular disc with raised letters and perforated punches sliding vertically in recesses. The desired letter is moved into line with a pointer by the sense of touch, the operating lever is then raised and depresses a plunger which enters the appropriate hole at the opposite side of the disc to the selected letter. The plunger forces down the punch which makes a perforated letter in the paper. The paper is fed by rollers and a spring indent and ratchet and passes over a springy leather pad beneath the punch. It is reversed for reading, the shape of the letter being determined by touch on the rough edges of the perforations forming the letter shape.
Tobacco box - made from a piece of roman lead pipe
Miscellanea & Curiosities
Tobacco box, made from a piece of lead pipe found in Roman remains in Old Broad Street, North London Railway. Presented to H. Jones by his friend Jn Johnson in October 1854. Brass inscription on lid.
Royal footwarmer, Great Western Railway
Footwarmer, brass, Great Western Railway, footwarmer from Royal Saloon 1856-1901 as inscribed.
letter written by William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), 1858
Letter written by William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) relating to the machinery for laying the Atlantic Telegraph Cable, Glasgow, Scotland, 2nd March 1858
Single-needle block instrument
Signalling & Telecommunications
Cooke's single needle instrument 1845 for signalling on the Norfolk Railway.
Oil lamp base for Thomson mirror speaking galvanometer, 1858
Oil lamp base for Thomson mirror speaking galvanometer, made by Dietz and Company, City of London, England, 1858
Glass pharmacy storage bottle
Glass bottle, painted with the scene of the birth of Saint, from the Santa Maria Nuova Hospital in Florence
Bain's chemical telegraph, 1850.
Alexander Bain's chemical telegraph, unknown maker, England, 1850. Includes key not shown on photograph.
Reis telephone transmitter, 1863
Reis telephone transmitter, made by J W Arnold, Frankfurt, Germany, 1863
Furness Railway steam locomotive 'Coppernob' 0-4-0, No 3, 1846
Locomotives and Rolling Stock
Steam locomotive and tender, No 3, 'Coppernob', 0-4-0, for Furness Railway, designed by E Bury, built by Bury, Curtis and Kennedy in 1846, withdrawn in 1900. Length over buffers: 37' 3"; width: 7' 4": weight: 19 1/2 tons; driving wheels 4' 9".
Sewing machine by Elias Howe
Lockstitch sewing machine by Elias Howe, Lowell, Massachusetts, United States, made about 1846, the first sewing machine to be brought to England from America in that year.
Thomson's Mirror Galvanometer, 1858
(Lord Kelvin) Thomson's mirror galvanometer (land type) used at Valentia Island end of the original Atlantic cable, made by White and Barr, Glasgow, Scotland, 1858.
'Thunder pump' magneto-electric device, 1856
'Thunder pump' magneto-electric device, made by W T Henley's Telegraph Works Company Limited, London, England, 1856
Henley's magneto electric double needle telegraph, 1848-1852
Henley's magneto electric double needle telegraph, made by the Magnetic Telegraph Company, England, 1848-1852.
Lead weight marked 'Reid' from the first cross-Channel telegraph cable, 1850.
Lead weight, marked Reid, with which the original cross-Channel telegraph cable of 1850 was weighted, made by Reid Brothers, Islington, London, England, 1850
Thomson's Mirror Marine Galvanometer, 1858
Electricity and Magnetism
(Lord Kelvin) Thomson's marine mirror galvanometer, made by White & Barr, Glasgow, Scotland, 1858
Lamp cover for Thompson mirror speaking galvanometer, 1858
Lamp cover for Thomson mirror speaking galvanometer, made by Elliott Brothers, Strand, London, England, 1858
Model of a Power loom for plain weaving
Model, scale 1:3, of a power loom for simple plain weaving made by Messrs. Sevill and Woolstenhulme, Oldham, Manchester, England, 1857. This loom gives the most elementary kind of weaving in which weft crosses over and under the warps alternately and was the type used extensively for calico weaving. There is an arrangement for stopping the loom automatically if the shuttle does not reach its box after each pick, and if the weft should break then a weft fork device which is normally balanced to rest on the unbroken thread falls and operates cut off machinery to stop the loom.
Palmer's micrometer (replica)
Replica of original micrometer caliper by Jean Laurent Palmer, patented in France 7.9.1848, range 0 to 20 mm, made after 1867 by Brown & Sharpe
Electric motor used by James J
Scientific Instruments & Research
Electric motor used by James Joule, c.1860. Armature original but the rest may be replica. This simple electric motor was used by the scientist James Joule for experiments about energy. Joule was a Salford resident and the son of a brewer. He was taught by the famous scientist John Dalton. Joule's experiments in 1845 led him to an new understanding of energy conversion. Research by Joule showed that electricity, mechanical work and heat are all the same thing - forms of energy. He used equipment like this to learn that formd of energy are interchangeable and that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Joule is remembered as one of the founders of modern physics. From 1948 the Joule became a standard international unit of energy measurement.
Sample of submarine cable laid between Dover and Calais, 1850
Short length (including a joint) of the original Cross-Channel submarine telegraph cable laid on 28th August 1850 between Dover and Calais. Cable originally made by Gutta Percha Company, Islington, London, England, 1850.
Micrometer type mechanical comparator
Whitworth millionth measuring machine in a case for comparing components against standard inch bars; made in 1855.
Fixtures & Fittings from Railway Buildings
Statue, Britannia with supporters, London & North Western Railway, formerly displayed in the Great Hall of Euston Station over the door leading to the general meeting room, 1849-1961, subsequently displayed in the restaurant at Euston Station, 1962-1986. Soft stone, sculpted by John Thomas, 1849. To Britannia's left is a lion, and a figure of Mercury and to her right is a figure representing the Arts and Sciences.
Cable 'tree' decorative souvenir of the Transatlantic Cable, 1858
Cable 'tree', decorative souvenir of the 1858 transatlantic submarine telegraph cable, made by George Rapson, England, 1858-1865. Five short sections of original cable mounted vertically and joined by brass shanks, with seven thin disks of cable (originally 10, three missing) suspended from the mounted sections, plus a model sailor with three flags on top. Mounted on a velvet covered circular wooden plinth
Sample of Bessemer steel
Sample of Bessemer steel, one slice cut from the muzzle of a gun section, 2.5" x 1.375", and bent cold under the steam hammer, 1860
Hughes' printing telegraph, 1860.
Hughes typewriting telegraph instrument, unknown maker, 1860. Invented about 1855 by David E Hughes (1829/31-1900), US patent numbers, 14,917, 1856; 22,531, 1859 and 22,770, 1859; British patent number 938, 1858.
Whitehouse's induction coil, 1858
Induction coil, probably made by E W O Whitehouse, 1857. Previously believed to have been used for working the 1858 Atlantic cable. According to recent research by Allan Green (c. 2009), this coil is NOT one of the ones used by Whitehouse in working the Atlantic Cable of 1858 (see note)
Louis Pasteur’s compound microscope
Compound monocular microscope used by Louis Pasteur
Early inhaler for ether anaesthesia
Early inhaler for ether anaesthesia, ether bottle connected by tubing to face mask, by Weiss of London, 1847-1848
Thomson mirror speaking galvanometer, 1858
Thomson mirror speaking galvanometer, made by Elliott Brothers, Strand, London, England, 1858
Arthington Tunnel memorial plaque, 1849
Memorial plaque, stone, to commemorate those killed during the construction of the Arthington (Bramhope) Tunnel, Leeds & Thirsk Railway, 1845-1849, erected by James Bray, Contractor, 1849, from Otley churchyard.
Lens for narrowing light beam for Thomson mirror speaking galvanometer, 1858
Lens in tubular mount on stand, for Thomson mirror speaking galvanometer, made by Elliott Brothers, Strand, London, England, 1858