Search our collection
Thompson's Revolver Camera
Thompson's Revolver camera, serial number 44, manufactured by A Briois, Paris 1862. Camera body engraved: `Thompson Invtr, A Briois, 4 rue de la Douane, Paris, Brevete SGDG, No.44'
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.
Builder's whole, rigged model, of SS 'Great Eastern', 1853-1857
Builder's whole, rigged model, scale 1:96, of SS 'Great Eastern' by John Scott Russell and Company, Millwall, London, England, 1853-1857
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.
Improved Patent Magneto Electric Machine for nervous diseases
Improved Patent Magneto Electric Machine for nervous diseases, dynamo with steel magnet and brass and ebony terminals to apply to patient, all in polished wood case dated, unsigned, Europe, 1862
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 the first transatlantic cable, 1857-1858
Sample of deep-sea portion of first transatlantic telegraph cable, manufactured by Glass, Elliot and Company, Greenwich, London, England, 1857-58. With outer wire armouring wound with a left-hand lay.
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.
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.
Thomson's Mirror Marine Galvanometer, 1858
Electricity and Magnetism
(Lord Kelvin) Thomson's marine mirror galvanometer, made by White & Barr, Glasgow, Scotland, 1858
Mirror galvanometer for the transatlantic telegraph, 1858
Electricity and Magnetism
Mirror galvanometer invented by Lord Kelvin and used at the Newfoundland end of the 1858 transatlantic cable, made by James White, Glasgow, Scotland, 1858.
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.
Model paddle wheel engines of the SS 'Great Eastern'
Model paddle wheel engines of the "Great Eastern" steamship, 1858.
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.
Micrometer type mechanical comparator
Whitworth millionth measuring machine in a case for comparing components against standard inch bars; made in 1855.
Marble statue of George Stephenson, 1852
Fixtures & Fittings from Railway Buildings
Marble statue, George Stephenson, on plinth (weight approx 6 tons). Dimension: 15' high (180" high x 36" square), from the Great Hall of Euston Station
Clark's block signalling telegraph instrument, 1854
Signalling & Telecommunications
Clark's block signalling telegraph instrument, invented by Edwin Clark, probably made by W T Henley's Telegraph Works Company for the Electric Telegraph Company, London, England, 1854. This type of instrument was used of the London and North Western Railway Line between London and Rugby from 1855
Binocular stereoscopic camera
Binocular stereoscopic camera no. 12, made by John Benjamin Dancer, Manchester, c.1856 and probably owned by Joseph Sidebotham in the 1860s. Rear plate holder removeable. Focussed by turning milled nut on top. Fitted with a focal plate shutter as well as a front of lens shutter. Missing spirit level, brass plunger for changing plates and changing box.
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
Chart of the Atlantic showing proposed couRse of the Atlantic Cable, 1856-1857
Framed and glazed chart of the Atlantic Ocean showing the proposed course of the Atlantic Cable, plus section marked 1857 showing the depth of the ocean bed at points along the course, made by the Atlantic Telegraph Company, London, England, 1856-1857.
Decimal watch by Richard Dover Statter and Thomas Statter
Lever escapement watch by Richard Dover Statter and Thomas Statter. The main enamel dial is divided into 10 hours, each subdivided into ten. The hands move anti-clockwise, the centre seconds hand dividing a minute into 100 seconds. Inscribed ‘The true basis of a universal Decimal system’ Signed ‘Richd. Dover Statter & Thos. Statter, Liverpool No.1’. 1862
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
Album of cyanotypes of British and Foreign Ferns
Album of cyanotypes of British and Foreign Ferns, made and assembled by Anna Atkins and Anne Dixon for presentation to `CSA' (unknown), 1853
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.
Royal footwarmer, Great Western Railway
Footwarmer, brass, Great Western Railway, footwarmer from Royal Saloon 1856-1901 as inscribed.
Bright's bell telegraph, 1855
Bright's bell telegraph, unknown maker, England, 1855
Caricature showing 'The State Doctor' during a cholera epidemic, Europe, c. 1854
Print. lithograph, some col, caricaturing precautions in a cholera epidemic [c1840-1865]. 2. 'The State Doctor' (wearing expensive frock coat amid drugs and large pestles), image 9.5x6cm edged to 11.5x8cm. Framed together with /1, /3, 52x21x2cm
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, English civil engineer, mid-19th century.
Plaster bust of Isambard Kingdom Brunel
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
'Thunder pump' magneto-electric device, 1856
'Thunder pump' magneto-electric device, made by W T Henley's Telegraph Works Company Limited, London, England, 1856
Lamp cover for Thompson mirror speaking galvanometer, 1858
Lamp cover for Thomson mirror speaking galvanometer, made by Elliott Brothers, Strand, London, England, 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)
Whitworth Pillar Drilling Machine
Hand and Machine Tools
Pillar drill, made by Joseph Whitworth & Co., Manchester, c. 1860.
Bust of James Watt in Parian Ware made by Josiah W
Bust of James Watt in Parian Ware made by Josiah Wedgwood & Sons from original by E.W. Wyon, 1859, 15" high
One of the first rechargeable batteries, about 1860
The first practical lead-acid storage battery. Made by Gaston Planté in London around 1860.
James Watt and the Steam Engine Print
Print. Engraving with mezzotint, [James Watt and the Steam Engine]. Engraved by James Scott, 1860, after painting by James Eckford Lander [ie, Lauder]. Trimmed
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
William Thomson's marine mirror galvanometer, 1850-1900
William Thomson's marine mirror galvanometer, made by Siemens and Halske, Berlin, Germany, 1850-1900.
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
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.
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
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
Thomson mirror speaking galvanometer, 1858
Thomson mirror speaking galvanometer, made by Elliott Brothers, Strand, London, England, 1858
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
Wax portrait of George Atkins (1766 – 1855)
Wax portrait of George Atkins (1766 – 1855) by Richard Cockle Lucas, London, 1852.
Wheatstone's portable ABC telegraph, 1858
Wheatstone ABC telegraph set, made by the General Post Office, England, 1858
Magneto-electrometer, made by E. O. W. Whitehouse, England, 1857
Sample of deep-sea section of first transatlantic cable, 1857-1858
Sample of deep-sea section of first transatlantic cable, made by R S Newall and Company, Birkenhead and Greenwich, England, 1857-1858
Thomson (Lord Kelvin) double curb transmitter, 1858
Thomson's double curb transmitter, probably made by William Thomson (Baron Kelvin), British, 1858