The Poor Man’s Son Who Usurped the British Market of Optical Lenses

Since the mid-18th century, England had been the centre of the optics industry, due to the work of instument-maker John Dolland (1706-1761). Dolland manufactured small ‘achromatic’ telescopes with high-quality lenses made of flint glass (instead of the inferior crown glass). His products were in high demand from astronomers all over Europe. This began to change, when a poor man’s son who had had a lot of bad luck in his youth, met the Bavarian Prince Elector. Continue reading

James Watt & Co: Directions for using the Patent Portable Copying Machines

Author
James Watt & Co.

Title
Directions for using the Patent Portable Copying Machines, invented & made by James Watt and Company, of Soho, near Birmingham

Publisher
T. A. Pearson’s Printing Office, 1810.


An original technical manual – a fascinating source for fans of the history of science. I used it for writing my post “The Origin of Now (Part 4) – The Letter Copying Press and Mr Watt’s Secrets Recipes for Ink and Liquor”.

Specification of the patent granted to Mr. James Watt of Birmingham

Title
Specification of the patent granted to Mr. James Watt of Birmingham, for his new method of copying letters and other writings

Published in
The Repertory of Arts and Manufactures, Vol 1; London, 1794.


The Repertory of Arts and Manufactures is a brilliant source for research on the history of science. I found it very helpful for writing my post “The Origin of Now (Part 4) – The Letter Copying Press and Mr Watt’s Secrets Recipes for Ink and Liquor”.

Shectman, Jonathan: Groundbreaking Scientific Experiments, Inventions, and Discoveries of the 18th Century

Author
Shectman, Jonathan

Title
Groundbreaking Scientific Experiments, Inventions, and Discoveries of the 18th Century

Publisher
Greenwood, 2003.


Mr. Shectman is the former editor of a series of science education books published by the National Science Resources Center. His book is a treat for everybody interested in the History of Science. I found it very helpful for writing my post “The Origin of Now: Part I”.

Pocock, G.: The Aeropleustic Art or Navigation in the Air by the use of Kites, or Buoyant Sails

Author
Pocock, George

Title
The Aeropleustic Art or Navigation in the Air by the use of Kites, or Buoyant Sails

Publisher
W. Wilson, 1827


The book is brilliant primary source for delving into a historical amateur scientist’s work and passion. It is freely accessible here.

I used the book for writing my post “The Girl, the Kite and the Eccentric Inventor”.

Holmes, R.: The Age of Wonder

Author
Holmes, Richard

Title
The Age of Wonder

Publisher
HarperPress, 2009


Mr Holmes introduces you to the leading scientists of the Second Scientific Revolution in Britain. Even if you never liked science at school you will enjoy this skillful and witty description of an amazing time and its thrilling discoveries. The book is a must-read for every Regency Enthusiast.

The book was helpful for writing my post “The Girl, the Kite and the Eccentric Inventor”.