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Long Study Tour to Boston and New England, USA

Boston Harbour (Photo by Mohan Nannapaneni, Pexels.com) Our Long Study Tour for 2023 will be an opportunity to discover historic collections and sites across Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. We are investigating visits to the following places (also available as a flyer): - Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments - Harvard College Observatory, including …

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Fireside Chat: Restoring Scientific Instruments – Aims and Methods

On-line, for SIS-members only.

A petrographic microscope No. II made by R. Fuess, Berlin/Steglitz before and after the restoration. The authentic restoration of scientific instruments is a technique, which needs comprehensive knowledge of technical methods and genuine recipes as well as craftsmanship and professional machinery. This talk presents the different degrees of restoration beginning from gentle cleaning to complete …

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

On-line, for SIS-members only.

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 ‘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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10th Gerard Turner Memorial Lecture 2022 ‘Two Enlightenment collections of scientific instruments in Hanoverian Britain’

Society of Antiquaries Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom

Presented by Dr Alison Morrison-Low, National Museums Scotland Variable microscope, in silver, by George Adams the Elder, signed by C.W. Dixey, associated with John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute. NMS.T.1987.344 (c) National Museums Scotland. Portable silver compound astronomical device, unsigned, probably owned by Archibald Campbell, 1st Earl of Ilay and 3rd Duke of Argyll. NMS.T.2007.54 …

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Fireside Chat ‘Petrologic Microsopes’

On-line, for SIS-members only.

A typical example of a Petrologic Microscope. Presented by Thomas Schwarz, Germany. The second part of my collection: Petrologic microscopes. Giving a short introduction to this special kind of microscopy, I will start with the earliest genuine mineralogical microscopes made by the Berlin Maker, Rudolph Fuess. I will then continue to show the evolution of the …

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Fireside Chat ’Above and Below: the Cornish pendulum experiments to weigh the world’

On-line, for SIS-members only.

Presented by Carolyn Kennett. Going down a Cornish mine with Carolyn Kennett. In 1826 and 1828 attempts were made by a group of eminent scientists including George Biddlell Airy and William Whewell to measure the density of the Earth. They would travel to the far southwest of England to Cornwall and down the deepest mine …

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Special on-line event for September: William Herschel and the Universe

On-line, for SIS-members only.

  **Exclusively for SIS Members** Saturday 3 September 2022 5pm London Time (BST = UTC+1) Online via Zoom This year is the 200th anniversary of the death of astronomer William Herschel (1738-1822). Join us for a special online event where we will screen the following film that celebrates the pioneering work and craftsmanship of this …

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Scientific Instrument Society AGM 2022

Science Museum, London Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London, United Kingdom

An opportunity to attend the Society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and to see the new instrument-rich ‘Science City 1550-1800’ gallery. More images and info available at https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/see-and-do/science-city-1550-1800-linbury-gallery#gallery-highlights   Time Event Notes 12:30 Meet for lunch at the Queen’s Arms, 30 Queens Gate Mews, Kensington, London, Greater London, SW7 5QL https://www.thequeensarmskensington.co.uk/#/ Delegates to order and pay …

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Long Study Tour to Turin and Milan

Long Study Tour to Turin and Milan, 15-21 May 2022 inclusive. Photo by Stefano Parisi from Pexels. Week-long Study Tour to northern Italy to visit various scientific instrument collections held within museums, universities and observatories in the cities of Turin, Milan and Pavia. Please click here for the full programme and here for the booking …

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