Scientific instruments

Posted on 21 mai 2008

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Science making is also building instruments. Christine MacLeod has recently reviewed A. D. Morrison-Low’s Making Scientific Instruments in the Industrial Revolution (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2007, ISBN via Google Books: 978-0-7546-5758-3) on EH.net.

His work has important implications for all students of the industrial revolution but it is more accurately categorized as a business history, than an economic history, of the instrument-making trade. It is a sharp reminder, in particular, of the industrializing economy’s dependence on accurate measurement for the construction and operation of its transport infrastructure — and the modernizing state’s for its revenue. Morrison-Low is to be congratulated for elucidating the broader significance of this small but crucial industry.