One of most important society with interest on History of Science and History of Scientific Instruments with more than 500 experts around the globe
The Scientific Instrument Society (SIS) was formed in April 1983 to bring together people with a specialist interest in scientific instruments, ranging from precious antiques to electronic devices only recently out of production. Collectors, the antiques trade, museum staff, professional historians and amateur enthusiasts will all find the varied activities of the Society suited to their tastes. We have a truly international membership offering those who join the chance to link up with instrument devotees across the world.
Mission: The Scientific Instrument Society (SIS) was formed to bring together people with a specialist interest in scientific instruments
8th Gerard Turner Memorial Lecture 2020 To be held online via Zoom at 6pm GMT on Friday 6th November 2020 Instruments from Scratch? Humphry Davy, Michael Faraday and the Construction of Knowledge Professor Frank James, Professor of History of Science, Science and Technology Studies Department,
SIS members will already have both their March and June issues of the Bulletin , and will soon receive the September issue. In order to give website visitors a taste of the Bulletin, and to tempt you to join the SIS, here are selected articles from the March and June issues: March and June
From the Chairman to all our Members In the present extraordinary situation it will not surprise you to know that Society activity has had to be greatly curtailed. I regret that the study tours to Armagh on the 27th–29th March and Northern Italy 17th–23rd May have now been postponed. Our 13th Ju...
Please note: this tour has been postponed owing to the coronavirus outbreak. We are hoping to reschedule for 2021, and updates will be publicised in due course. Existing bookings will be honoured, or refunded in full upon request. International Study Tour Northern Italy Sunday 17th May – Satur
Please note: this tour has been postponed owing to the coronavirus outbreak. We are hoping to reschedule for 2021, and updates will be publicised in due course. Existing bookings will be honoured, or refunded in full upon request. Short Study Tour 2020 Armagh, Northern Ireland
The final Bulletin of 2019 has landed! Issue #143 has two book reviews, by Ronald K Smeltzer and Paolo Brenni, as well as fascinating articles on Pieter Zeeman’s experiments on Einstein’s theory of special relativity and the Crisp Collection of Antiquarian Microscopes, which was auctioned on Tue...
This book describes and illustrates 21 different types of quadrant and explains how to use the various functions engraved on them. Many of the quadrants can be used to construct sundials and this is also explained in the text. A CD is included with the book and contains about 50 quadrant designs (in
Bulletin 141 has landed, and it’s a beauty. The cover illustration shows a micrometer by John Cuff, a nod to the first part of Julian Holland’s supremely important essay on the London optician, based on extensive new archival research. Until a full biography is written this will be the definitiv...
The wonderful cover illustration of Bulletin 140 relates to an equally wonderful essay: Simon Schaffer’s ‘Instruments and Ingenuity between India and Britain’, which was given in December as the 2018 Gerard Turner Memorial Lecture. As always there is much (much) more, including Galileo’s Jov...
In time for Christmas, here is Bulletin #139, featuring a wealth of instrumental material. The cover story is Stuart Talbot’s essay on a fascinating 17th-century telescope. We also have Silke Ackermann’s Gerard Turner Memorial Lecture, on ‘Islamic Science’ in the museum, and Part II of Huib ...
Bulletin 138 is out! The two free-to-download articles show the range of the SIS’s activities: on the one hand we have a hugely important contribution to historical scholarship, namely Part I of Huib Zuidervaart’s essay on the life and work of Johan van der Wyck (1623–1679); on the other we ha...
Since 1983 the Bulletin of the SIS has published countless essays on the history of scientific instrumentation – the archive of the Bulletin is a treasure trove of information on all sorts of devices, makers, historical episodes and instrument resources. But as you'll have found if you click o
Two more wonderful Bulletins to announce: #136 (March 2018) and #137 (June 2018). With articles on sextants, sundials hydrostatic balances, chromatographs, dividing engines and, as always, much much more. Click here to see the table of contents and freely available articles for issue 136. Cli
Owing to a delay in uploading issue 134, the SIS is delighted to present the online versions of BOTH Bulletin 134 and 135 – the contents and selected articles from Bulletin 134 are now online here , and from 135 here . These two issues feature plenty of SIS news (report of the AGM, account of our
In 1981, a new kind of museum opened in Buxton’s old Pump Room. It was the ‘Micrarium’, created by Dr Stephen Carter, who had previously been involved in cancer research at ICI’s Pharmaceutical Research Centre in Cheshire. The Micrarium’s ambition was to make the microscopical world, which Car
The Scientific Instrument Society - SIS's cover photo
Here the 131 Bulletin - Dec 2016 with a lot of articles touching different topics.
1 - Marcus Cavalier: Editorial [FREE TO DOWNLOAD]
2 -Dawn Correia: The Scientific Nature of the Kaleidoscope [FREE TO DOWNLOAD]
7 - Current and Future Events
8 -Willem Hackmann: Brief Note on the Lantern or Projecting Kaleidoscope
11 - Matteo Realdi: The Double-Image Micrometer of Giovanni Battista Amici
17 -Mike Cowham: Sundial Making in England Part 2: Before 1700
20 -Francisco Saez de Adana: The Maritime Navigation Radars in Spain at the Beginning of the Francoist Regime
24 -Neil Brown: ###Vth Scientific Instrument Symposium
29 -Mystery Objects Answers and Objects 3 and 4
30 - Paolo Brenni: Mystery Object 1:The Dust Counter of John Aitken
32 -Patrick Mill: Sir Robert Kotzé and the Koniometer: A Little-Known Instrument of Major Significance to Health
35 - Tacye Phillipson: Surviving Apparatus Showing the Early Development of the Cloud Chamber [FREE TO DOWNLOAD]
38 - T.N. Sear and P.A. Martin: Taylors’ Acetometer
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The Society was formally constituted on 20 April 1983 in the course of a lively meeting at the Science Museum, South Kensington, when Gerard Turner was appointed Chairman, Brian Brass Treasurer (he would serve in that role for the next eleven years) and the late Jon Darius the first editor of the Bulletin. Amongst the ordinary committee members was Jeremy Collins the scientific instrument specialist at Christies.
The name of the Society was chosen carefully. It was not to refer to 'Antiquarian' or 'Historical'. It's remit was to embrace gas chromatographs or Geiger counters as much as the aesthetically pleasing instruments beloved of the 'Brass brigade'. In the words of our first press release, the Society aimed to contribute to historical knowledge and understanding through the collection, conservation and study of scientific artefacts. When the Microscopical Society of London (later the Royal Microscopical Society) was launched in 1839, its professed purpose was to afford 'encouragement to microscopical investigations, by promoting that ready intercourse between those engaged in such pursuits, by which not only are great advantages mutually gained, but also information of the most valuable kind disseminated and perpetuated'.
That, mutatis mutandis, is just what we hoped would transpire when collectors, curators, dealers, restorers and other interested parties were brought together on the common ground of our new Society. The establishment of a new society always occasions trepidation enough: Would it attract enough members? (We already numbered over 100.) If so, would they be sleepers or participators? Would the avowed aims be fulfilled, or would the whole enterprise lumber along expending most of its energy in unproductive meetings and minutes, minutes and meetings? These thoughts, articulated by Jon Darius on the first page of the first Bulletin proved to be unnecessarily cautious.
Throughout its history the Bulletin has had only three editors and has grown into a respected publication, essential reading for serious scholars of the history of science and the material culture of scientific enquiry, experimentation, instruction and its industrial, medical or military applications. It has always been A4 format, was professionally typeset from issue no 2 and advertising has been carried since the beginning.
The Committee is always keen to encourage fresh blood to get involved. New committee members can be co-opted at any time during the year (subject to approval at the next AGM) so please don't hide your light under a bushel.
Can anyone supply information on the instrument maker J. Short? Not James Short of Edinburgh (1710-1768), but John Short who practiced in London around the 1880’s. He was born in Lambeth in 1839 and had trade premises at 2 Gladstone Street, Southwark.
I have a spencer 1900 microscope
I'm researching the career of Theodore Ernest Gennert, who, in the firm of Gennert & Holzke of New York, produced scientific instruments in 1852 and 1853. Does anybody here know of any of their instruments or can point me to any information about Genert?