Scientific Instruments, 1500-1900: An Introduction

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9780856674914: Scientific Instruments, 1500-1900: An Introduction

The impulse to collect is an almost universal one, satisfying the hunting and acquisitive instincts, the love of beauty, and intellectual curiosity. The wealthy have collected rare and beautiful things from the earliest days of civilization, but the collection, or "cabinet," containing natural curiosities dates from the sixteenth century, and it was this type of collection in which scientific instruments found a home. In the twentieth century, we have come to accept a vast range of technical, often complex, equipment for everyday use. Science has become the very substance of our life style. But the appeal of historic scientific instruments remains, and from them much can be learned of the practice and development of science over four centuries.

This book traces the historical origins and development of instruments as they spread across the globe, explaining their manufacture, use, and adaptations. This must-have book for the active collector gives practical advice on dealing with instruments and checking their authenticity. It features a comprehensive international list of major museums and instrument collections. Over 100 superb illustrations show the instruments to their full advantage.

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The development of modern science, beginning in the late Middle Ages, required the development of accurate tools for measuring such things as distance, weight, luminosity, temperature, and time.

The earliest such instruments, writes University of London historian Gerard L'E Turner, were multifaceted: "An astrolabe which incorporates a means for measuring the elevation angles of stars or the Sun, as well as a stereographic representation of the Earth, can be used equally well for telling the time, for finding the latitude, and for collecting data to cast a horoscope." With the passage of time, they became more specialized, yielding such fine devices as binocular telescopes and stereoscopic viewers. (The latter, Turner writes, became internationally popular in the mid-19th century after Queen Victoria expressed amusement at one displayed at a London fair.)

Turner's well-illustrated catalog of scientific instruments is organized along the old instrument-makers' categories of mathematical, optical, and philosophical tools. Accompanying the photographs are thoughtful essays on the growth of science in the second half of the second millennium, along with notes on how owners can take care of pieces in their collections as well as determine the authenticity and origins of those pieces. The book makes for a pleasing introduction to the history of modern science, and it is an especially useful reference for collectors of clocks, stereopticons, and other antique scientific instruments. --Gregory McNamee

From the Inside Flap:

"This is a magisterial yet compact survey of the entire field of scientific instruments, the best such treatment that I know."—Bruce Stephenson, Adler Planetarium

"This book provides a very useful and informative overview of the history of scientific instruments. Turner is recognized as one of the founders of this specialized area of historical research."—William Andrews, Curator of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard University

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Gerard L'Estrange Turner
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Book Description -. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Scientific Instruments 1500-1900: An Introduction This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780856674914

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Turner, Gerard L'E
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Book Description University of California Press, 1998. Book Condition: Very Good. Subsequent. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP67614304

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Turner (gerard L'e)
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Book Description Philip Wilson, London, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket (as issued). 144 pages, over 100 illustrations many in colour, 1998. A useful guide to astronomical, navigational, optical, medical, philosophical, surveying, drawing and calculating instruments. Sundials and related solar clocks are also included. A very good copy, covers a little marked. Bookseller Inventory # K4004

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Turner, Gerard L'Estrange
Published by Berkeley - Los Angeles - London Philip Wilson - University of California Press () (1998)
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Book Description Berkeley - Los Angeles - London Philip Wilson - University of California Press (), 1998. 1. Farbig illustrierter Original-Pappband; 4°; 144 Seiten; mit zahlreichen farbigen Abbildungen. Sehr gutes Exemplar. Sprache: Englisch 710 gr. Bookseller Inventory # 43135

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Gerard L'Estrange Turner
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Book Description Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd 11/12/2001, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Bookseller Inventory # 6545-9780856674914

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