Search our collection
Walking stick with ivory skull
Physician's walking stick, bamboo, pommel consists of carved ivory skull with moveable eyes and jaw, English, 1740-1840
Celestial globe by Willem Janszoon Blaeu
Celestial globe made by Willem Janszoon Blaeu, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1603.
Armillary sphere by Girolamo Della Volpaia
Armillary sphere made by Girolamo Della Volpaia, Florence, Italy, 1554. Inscribed ‘'Hieronymus Carmilli Vulpariae, Florentin, F.1554'.
Printing telegraph receiver, 1845-1851
Printing telegraph receiver, probably made by John Watkins Brett, London, England, 1845-1851. Used to transmit the first telegraphic message under the sea in 1851, from Dover to Cap Gris Nez by John Watkins Brett (1805-1863)
Cryptograph (coding and decoding machine) by Sir Charles Wheatstone, 1843-1875
Cryptograph (coding and decoding machine) by Sir Charles Wheatstone, unknown maker, British, 1843-1875
Watch by David Margotin with a Blois Enamelled Case
Watch in fine enamelled case by David Margotin, Paris, France . The exterior of the case is painted with an array of coloured spring flowers, the interior with a château beside a lake. The enamel dial is painted with a rural scene, The movement has a screwed on balance cock and ratchet wheel set-up and is signed ‘David Margotin, Paris’. c.1650.
Lord Kelvin's 'ironclad' marine galvanometer, 1865-1866
Electricity and Magnetism
(Lord Kelvin) Thomson's 'Ironclad' marine galvanometer, made by James White, Glasgow, Scotland, 1865-1866. Used on board the 'Great Eastern' in the Atlantic Cable expedition of 1866.
Nooth's apparatus, Europe, 1774-1831
Nooth's apparatus, late 18th early 19th century
Charriere-type double spine saw
Anatomy & Pathology
Charriere's spine saw, double, steel and ebony, by Charriere of Paris, 1820-1860
Two Guillotine blades
Two Guillotine blades and plinth, unsigned, French, 1790-1794. Used at the execution of Jean-Baptiste Carrier in 1794.
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.
Nimbus, or rain cloud
[Cloud modifications] / E Kenyon [Kennion] with Luke Howard. - n.d. [March 1849]. - one of 4 drawings: pen, watercolour, with white; 28x19cm or smaller; [Plate 5] Nimbus, or rain cloud. - Original studies of clouds "from nature" by Luke Howard, with landscapes by "Mr Kenyon". These were lithographed by EM Williams and printed by M&N Hanhart as illustrations for the 3rd edition of Howard's Essay on the Modifications of Clouds, 1865. The explanations of plates prefacing this edition are by "LH, March 1849" who gave "a number of sketches" to Kenyon. Clouds and landscapes of drawings 1 and 3 are closely related to engravings in Rees' Cyclopedia, dated (Science Museum copy) 1810 and 1820, after work by "E. Kennion" or E. Kennyon" ie, Edward Kennion (1744-1809). It is not known whether these watercolours were executed by 1809, by Edward Kennion using cloud sketches made by Luke Howard (1772-1864) during his most active time of cloud sketching and observation; or, whether Howard refers to Kennion's son Charles John (1789-1853), also an accomplished landscape artist, who may have worked with these sketches in 1849 or 180-. The watercolours are not dated, and more than one finished study may have been made by Howard from his sketchbooks, at any time 180- to 1849. nos. 1 and 4 together in frame 51x37.5x2.5cm.
Flushing curette, Europe, 1871-1900
Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Contraception
Curette, flushing, Rheinstadter, steel, European, late 19th century
Memento mori ring, Europe, 1801-1900
Silver finger ring, a memento mori in the form of a skull and cross bones with snakes intertwined
Portrait of Ada, Countess of Lovelace
Alfred Edward Chalon
Watercolour, Ada Lovelace, possibly by A E Chalon (1780-1860), [c1840]. 25 x 18.3 cm. Portrait, TQL to L. looking front, in evening dress with mantilla, holding fan
Silver thimble, used to pass a current through the 1866 Transatlantic cable, 1860-1866
Silver thimble, unknown maker, probably Ireland, 1860-1866. Originally owned by Miss Emily FitzGerald and by means of which an electric current was sent through the two Atlantic telegraph cables in 1866
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.
Embossing telegraph receiver 1878-1900
Embossing telegraph receiver, made by J. H. Bunnell and Co., New York, United States, 1878-1900
Felt and Tarrant Comptometer, 1887.
Comptometer, early form (wooden box), 72 keys numbered, plate on top of box engraved " Trade Comptometer mark, Patd. July 19th 1887, Oct 11th 1887, Jan 8th 1889, June 11th 1889, Nov 25th 1890, Dec 15th 1891, Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Co., Chicago"
Wax anatomical figure of reclining woman
Anatomy & Pathology
Main body of wax anatomical model of reclining woman with removable internal organs, probably from Florence, late 18th century
Model vertical cylinder fire engine
Working model of a vertical cylinder steam fire engine, (scale 1:48)
Trevithick's model road locomotive engine
Trevithick's original model road locomotive engine, unsigned, British, 1796-1802. This model is possibly constructed by either Richard Trevithick, or Whitehead & Co., of Manchester.
Section of lightning conductor from St Paul’s cathedral
Iron bar which formed one section of the lightning conductor installed on St. Paul’s cathedral, London, in 1769, as recommended by a Royal Society committee. This bar remained in place until 1899.
Set of thirteen spirit bubbles, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1801-1900
Thirteen spirit bubbles in case, by A. Lovi, Scottish
Carding engine, made by Asa Lees & Co. Ltd, Oldham, 1896 and used at Moorfield Mill in Shaw.
Gold pair-cased watch with gold champleve dial, by Daniel Quare
Plain gold pair case, probably of a later date to the movement (c.1728) with case maker's stamp IR. Gold champlevé dial with aperture for dial winding. Blued steel hour hand and minute hand shaped to avoid protruding squares through dial. Verge escapement movement. Balance cock with solid engraved foot and diamond endstone. Signed on movement ‘Daniel Quare London 3720’. Clockmakers Museum No. 126
wheel cutting machine
Hand and Machine Tools
Early clock-wheel cutting machine made by Humphrey Marsh, England, 1668-1672.
'Bell-crank' engine, c. 1799
Model Boulton & Watt bell crank engine, c. 1799. The bell-crank engine design was devised for Boulton & Watt by William Murdock, one of their employees. It was the first 'independent' (self-supporting) engine to be built.
Iron gin rat trap, England, 1750-1900
Public Health & Hygiene
Iron gin trap for rats, probably English, 1750-1900
Horary quadrant by Henry Sutton
Horary quadrant made by Henry Sutton, Threadneedle Street, London, 1658. Paper scale on brass with lead plumb bob
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
Cuff-type compound microscope
Cuff type compound microscope by Dollond, English, circa 1800
Pair of Bell telephones, 1878
Pair of Bell telephones, made by S. M. James, British, 1878
Speculum, rectal, steel and brass, by Collin of Paris, from Charriere Collin and Gentile collection, circa 1880
Set of sixty miniature heads used in phrenology
Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Wooden case containing set of 60 small phrenological heads, by William Bally, Manchester or Dublin, 1831
Cooke and Wheatstone's four needle telegraph, 1838
Cooke and Wheatstone's four needle telegraph, unknown maker, England, 1838.
'Pock-marked faces: A curious illusion', anti-vaccination leaflet
'Pock-marked faces: A curious illusion', published by the AntI-Vaccination League, London, England, c. 1880s
Oval amulet to protect against cholera, Europe, 1801-1900
Oval, brass(?) amulet, to protect against cholera, artist unknown, Belgian or French, 1800-1900
Treadle-operated 'Minerva' platen printing press
Printing & Writing
Treadle-operated 'Minerva' platen printing press made by H. S. Cropper and Co., Nottingham c. 1870.
Thames Tunnel opening commemorative medal, 1843
Coins, Medals & Tokens
Medal to commemorate the opening of the Thames Tunnel, 1843. Silver; [sight] [40mm] diameter, [3mm] thickness. obverse: relief of the Wapping Entrance with twin tunnels and grand staircase; legend, Thames Tunnel Began 1824 Opened 1843 Cost £446000. reverse: portrait head, relief profile to L, of and legend, Sir Isambart [sic] Marc Brunel, F.R.S. &c. Designer name at base of relief: J. Taylor
Cut glass perfume bottle with ball-top stopper
Small cut glass perfume bottle with ball-top stopper, neck broken, decorated with diamond pattern, oval shaped in cross section, part of Chalmers collection, English, 1860 to 1900
Sunglasses, pince nez style
Spectacles, pince nez style sunglasses with blue lenses, folding, steel wire, English, 1820-1900