Abstract and Keywords
This article focuses on instruments and instrument-makers during the period 1700–1850. Scientific instruments in the 150 years between 1700 and 1850 enjoyed rapid advances in design and technology that the period can usefully be divided at about 1800, though the date varied with the progress or otherwise in the lands concerned. Throughout this period the leading craftsmen were becoming better-educated, many having a good grasp of mathematics. This article deals mainly with instruments and their makers in Britain, with a brief survey of the situation in western Europe and in the United States. It first describes the political situation in Europe before discussing the British instrument-makers’ workshop practice and materials available in the craftsmen’s workshops, including brass and other alloys, glass and wood. It also considers the British market for optical instruments and philosophical instruments, along with instrument-makers and markets in Continental Europe and the United States.
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