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Early submarine cables and grapnel, 1858-1866.
Glazed case (no glass) containing specimens of submarine cables etc:- viz: (a) two specimens of shore end and two specimens of main cable of each of Atlantic cables, 1858, 1865 and 1866; (b) two specimens of grapnel rope used in recovery of 1865 cable; (c) two specimens of 1865 cable recovered; (d) model of grapnel used in recovery of 1865 cable
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.
Architect's model of S&J Watts' warehouse
Architecht's model of S & J Watts' warehouse, made around 1850.
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.
Machine used for covering wires with silk and cotton, 1837
Machine used for covering wires with silk and cotton for electrical purposes, made by W T Henley, Whitechapel, London, England, 1837
William Thomson's marine mirror galvanometer, 1850-1900
William Thomson's marine mirror galvanometer, made by Siemens and Halske, Berlin, Germany, 1850-1900.
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
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]
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
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.
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.
Model paddle wheel engines of the SS 'Great Eastern'
Model paddle wheel engines of the "Great Eastern" steamship, 1858.
Print, 'Searching Fault' scene on 'Great Eastern' during the laying of the first Atlantic cable, 1865-1867
Coloured print of Robert Charles Dudley's 'Searching Fault' (scene on "Great Eastern" during laying of the first Atlantic cable), printed by Day and Son Limited, Camden, London, England, 1865-1867. Full title of the print is 'Searching for a fault after recovery of the cable from the bed of the Atlantic July 31st'
Print, 'Interior Tanks', a scene on 'Great Eastern' during the laying of the first Atlantic cable, 1865-1867
Coloured print of Robert Charles Dudley's 'Interior Tanks' (scene on "Great Eastern" during laying of the first Atlantic cable), printed by Day and Son Limited, Camden, London, England, 1865-1867. Full title of the work is 'Interior of one of the tanks aboard the Great Eastern - cable passing out'.
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
One of four original Swan and Raven models used by Froude
One of four original Swan and Raven models used by William Froude on River Dart in 1867 measuring 6 foot in length.
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.
Two lancets in a patterned silver case
Two lancets, steel blade in tortoiseshell sheath, by Savigny and Co. of London, 1810-1850, in silver case, inscribed "R.G.," made in Birmingham in 1844
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.
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
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.
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
Cooke and Wheatstone 5-needle telegraph, 1837
Large 5-needle Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph, designed by William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone, England, 1837
polarized 'guillotine' relay, 1862-1866
Polarized 'guillotine' relay, designed by W Andrews, England, 1862-1866.
Wheatstone ABC telegraph receiver, 1942
ABC telegraph receiver, invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone, unknown maker, England, 1842
section of first telegraph cable, 1837
Piece of the original telegraph line laid down between Euston Square and Camden Town, made by William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone, England, 1837.
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.
Single-needle block instrument
Signalling & Telecommunications
Cooke's single needle instrument 1845 for signalling on the Norfolk Railway.
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.
Royal footwarmer, Great Western Railway
Footwarmer, brass, Great Western Railway, footwarmer from Royal Saloon 1856-1901 as inscribed.
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".
Reis telephone transmitter, 1863
Reis telephone transmitter, made by J W Arnold, Frankfurt, Germany, 1863
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
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.
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
The Atlantic Telegraph, broadsheet, 1866
Broadsheet, printed, hand-coloured engravings, 'The Atlantic Telegraph', describing the laying of the first successful transatlantic telegraph cables, published by Bacon & Co, 48 Paternoster Row, London, England, 1866. In glazed frame, 91 x 65.7 cm.
Glass pharmacy storage bottle
Glass bottle, painted with the scene of the birth of Saint, from the Santa Maria Nuova Hospital in Florence
'Thunder pump' magneto-electric device, 1856
'Thunder pump' magneto-electric device, made by W T Henley's Telegraph Works Company Limited, London, England, 1856
Queen Adelaide's Saloon, NO. 2
Locomotives and Rolling Stock
Railway carriage, London & Birmingham Railway, Queen Adelaide's saloon, No 2, built in 1842. The under frame was built at Euston Works, the body was built by a coach builder in Gough Street, London.
Cooke and Wheatstone’s double-needle telegraph, 1838
Cooke's and Wheatsone's two-needle telegraph, unknown maker, British, 1838.
Nitrous oxide cylinder
Empty nitrous oxide cylinder, used in dentistry(?), 1840-1868
Cooke and Wheatstone's ABC telegraph transmitter
Cooke and Wheatstone's ABC telegraph transmitter, unknown maker, England, 1840
Bain's chemical telegraph, 1850.
Alexander Bain's chemical telegraph, unknown maker, England, 1850. Includes key not shown on photograph.
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.
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.
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.