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The Whipple Museum of the History of Science

The Whipple Museum of the History of Science
Instruments and Interpretations, to Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of R. S. Whipple's Gift to the University of Cambridge

  • Authors:
  • Liba Taub, The Whipple Museum of the History of Science, University of Cambridge
  • Frances Willmoth, Jesus College, Cambridge
  • Date Published: September 2006
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521866095


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About the Authors
  • The Whipple Museum in Cambridge contains one of the most important existing collections in the history and philosophy of science and has played a key role in teaching and research within those subjects. Founded in 1944 with funding from Robert Stewart Whipple, formerly of the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company, the Museum aims to preserve the material culture of science through its collections, to document and provide access to those collections, and to interpret and research the material culture and associated practices of past science. This volume brings together 23 essays and 85 illustrations which chart the Museum's history; examine its role and influence within the University of Cambridge and the study of the subject more widely; and focus on a range of particular scientific instruments in the collection, drawing out their broader historical significance and associations.

    • The first book-length account of this important collection
    • Detailed study of the history of particular important scientific instruments
    • For historians and philosophers of science but also of interest to museum curators and collectors of instruments
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2006
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521866095
    • length: 512 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 179 x 35 mm
    • weight: 1.162kg
    • contains: 85 b/w illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Introduction Liba Taub and Frances Willmoth
    Part I:
    1. Documents from the founding and early history of the Whipple Museum, compiled by Frances Willmoth
    2. The first decade of the Whipple Museum Rupert Hall
    3. A collection to be preserved Alex Keller
    4. The opening of a new gallery at the Whipple Museum David W. Dewhirst
    Part II:
    5. 'Braggers that by showe of their instrument win credit': the errours of Edward Worsop Jim Bennett
    6. A 'hidden' Cambridge jewel David J. Bryden
    7. Models and understanding David Chart
    8. Made to measure: some thoughts on the design of scientific instruments Richard Dunn
    9. Pictures at an exhibition: or what ivory sundials can teach an intellectual historian Penelope Gouk
    10. Making waves: a history of the wave machine Christopher Haley
    11. Nineteenth-century wave motion machines Graham Hart
    12. The legacy of Elias Allen Hester Higton
    13. An early Italian globe? A critical study of a terrestrial globe in the Whipple Museum Robert A. Jenks
    14. Reading rules: artefactual evidence for mathematics and craft in early-modern England Stephen Johnston
    15. Instruments of translation Latin Therapy Group
    16. Precision electrical instruments, 1870-1900 Kenneth Lyall
    17. Spheres and texts on spheres: the book-instrument relationship and an armillary sphere in the Whipple Museum of the History of Science Adam Mosley
    18. Representing Euclid in the eighteenth century Mike Rich
    19. Time machines Simon Schaffer
    20. Napier Shaw and the invention of the cloud chamber Richard Staley
    21. Are orreries 'Newtonian'? A consideration of the material, textual and pictorial evidence Liba Taub
    22. 'The ingenious and unwearied Mr Abraham Sharp': a transitional figure in the making of precision instruments Frances Willmoth.

  • Authors

    Liba Taub, The Whipple Museum of the History of Science, University of Cambridge
    Liba Taub was formerly Curator of History of Astronomy at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. Since 1995 she has been Curator of the Whipple Museum and is Reader in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge.

    Frances Willmoth, Jesus College, Cambridge
    Frances Willmoth edited John Flamsteed's correspondence (3 vols, IOP Publishing, 1995-2001). She is currently Archivist at Jesus College, Cambridge, where she directs studies in History and Philosophy of Science.

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