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 on that link, it's available only to members of the SIS (you can join here).
So we thought we would showcase some highlights of the Bulletin by making articles selected by SIS members available for free. If you're a member and would like to contribute to this project please get in touch!
Our first installment comes from Joshua Nall of the Whipple Museum, Cambridge. Josh was co-author (with Boris Jardine and James Hyslop) of the recent Bulletin essay on fake antique scientific instruments – which is also available for free here. Appropriately enough, therefore, Josh chose the important 'Final Report' on The Anton Mensing Scientific Instrument Project, co-authored by Stephen Johnston,Willem F.J. Mörzer Bruyns, Jan C. Deiman and Hans Hooijmaijers and published in Bulletin 79 (December 2003). This report brought to a conclusion one of the most thorough collaborative studies of the history of instrument collections ever undertaken, and is a model for anyone planning anything similar. And, as with anything Mensing related, it's a cracking story too.