Collecting and Restoring Scientific Instruments - Ronald PearsallNewton Abbot & London: David & Charles, 1974, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper has loss to the head of the upper panel. Text complete, clean and tight.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Black & white drawings; Diagrams; Glossary;
From the cover: “Scientific instruments have always attracted discriminating collectors, but because of their nature they have managed to avoid being involved in the antique price-spiral that has forced many categories of antiques out of the range of the average collector. It is therefore possible to buy, for example, a fine Victorian microscope that looks well and functions perfectly at the same price as one would pay for an ordinary, small piece of furniture.
A scientific instrument measures or informs, though this book also includes marginal categories such as surgical instruments. Despite the number of different instruments, they fall into a few neat categories, such as surveying, navigation, astronomy and microscopy — all invented to find out about things and enlarge man’s knowledge. Many were postulated long before they could be made, and microscopes and telescopes had to wait for perfection until there was an adequate supply of optical glass. Instruments measuring tiny intervals could not be produced satisfactorily until the engineers had made a machine to duplicate graduated scales (the dividing engine); and yet by the early nineteenth century it was possible to work to the limits of a millionth of an inch.
Scientific instruments were made to do a job: planned obsolescence, ornament and fripperies were alien to the instrument-making elite, skilled in the working of brass, the basic material of these instruments.”