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Making Scientific Instruments in the Industrial Revolution (Science, Technology & Culture, 1700-1945) (Science, Technology and Culture, 1700-1945) Hardcover – 24 Apr 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Limited (24 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754657582
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754657583
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,814,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Dr A.D. Morrison-Low is Principal Curator in the Science Division, National Museums of Scotland, UK.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marcus Cavalier, FRAS, FRI on 9 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover
It is sometimes easy to imagine that the history of the scientific instrument trade in Great Britain is a history of London makers meeting the demands of London-based institutions and patrons, and in which provincial makers have played only a peripheral role. The demands of the Admiralty for navigational instruments, of the London hospitals and surgeons for medical apparatus and microscopes, or of the metropolitan elite and court for objects of display like orreries and planetaria are real and cannot be denied. It conjures up a picture of George Adams of Fleet Street rubbing shoulders with Dr. Johnson in their periwigs and frock coats, the employees of Elliott Brothers in a later era mass-producing the instruments which kept the great machine of the British empire throbbing like a well-oiled engine, and of Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society setting out on their Phileas Fogg-like exploits with a dip circle or holosteric barometer they had purchased from a retailer on the Strand stuffed in their pockets. Whereas this picture has been well supported by research over recent decades into the London trade, with detailed studies of such famous names as Troughton & Simms, James Short and Jesse Ramsden, the mere existence of other equally well established names as Parkes of Birmingham or Cooke of York gives the lie to the superficially attractive idea that this image is complete. The Britain of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was a country of proud provincial capitals in which Sheffield was world-renowned for steel making and Birmingham was called the workshop of the world. Yet any sort of extensive study of the scientific instrument trade in this obviously important provincial context has been sorely lacking from the historiography of scientific instruments. Dr.Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Suyderhoud on 19 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The title "Making Scientific Instruments in the Industrial Revolution" should have been followed by "in England" and tells exactly what you can find in this book, but no more. Much information on this subject has been gathered and given in detail, however the intention of the author to give an better overview and a more multi disciplinary approach has unfortunately not been fulfilled. The study lacks a proper economic or management model such as given by Michael Porter in his books "Competitive Strategy" and "Competitive advantage of Nations" and also underestimates the importance of Technological change. Technology push and Market pull and the role of substitute products are not properly presented. As an example the Barometer is mainly discussed as an domestic instrument, as has been done by Goodison in "English Barometers", but not as a scientific measurement instrument as given by Middleton in his "The History of the Barometer". The importance of accuracy and portability is not discussed at all, as well as the change from "Mercury" to "Aneroid". Certainly a missed opportunity for all the work done on this subject.
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