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Fireside Chat ‘A Case for Curiosity’

On-line, for SIS-members only.

Henry P. Bowditch's “artificial waterfall” from c. 1893 (CHSI-WJ0216). Presented by Sara J. Schechner, the David P. Wheatland Curator of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard University. The microscope of a literary legend; a philosopher’s bathing suit; stolen chemicals; and the nose cone of a missile given as a Valentine’s Day gift. These curiosities …

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Fireside Chat ‘Alva Mason, Philadelphia Instrument Maker, 1824-1860’

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A brass plaque signed "A. MASON PHILADELPHIA". Presented by Steve Beare, USA. Abstract  The first instrument that inspired the author to collect and study scientific instruments, an inclined plane, was purchased in 1984. It has a brass plaque signed "A. MASON PHILADELPHIA". No other examples of signed Mason instruments were located at the time.  In …

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Fireside Chat ‘From Galvanometers to Oscilloscopes: The development of instruments to detect and record electrical signals 1850 to 1970’

On-line, for SIS-members only.

Duddell double beam oscillograph, 1909. By Robert Whitworth. SynopsisThese days life is so dependent on electrical devices that we take them for granted. This chat will use instruments from the historic collection at the University of Birmingham to illustrate the challenges faced by early workers on electrical systems. We start with detecting direct currents with …

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Fireside Chat ‘Exponential ex machine – a quest from history to action’

On-line, for SIS-members only.

By Pietro Milici and Frédérique Plantevin. Abstract: In the late 17th century, scholars like Huygens and Leibniz sketched some machines to justify the existence of transcendental curves by solving inverse tangent problems. Some decades later, Giovanni Poleni (1683-1761), an Italian polymath and professor at the University of Padua, designed the first effective machines for the …

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