Bulletin

BULLETIN 141 – June 2019

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 definitive statement on Cuff, and this part at least can be freely downloaded here.

The full table of contents is available here, or by clicking on the image to the right. Charles Miller’s ‘chairman’s chat’ is also available to download.

The other essay we’re offering free to download is Mike Cowham’s informative and well illustrated guide to Nuremburg sundials – enjoy!

For access to the complete Bulletin archive and to receive print copies of each issue as it’s published, join the SIS.

BULLETIN 140 – March 2019

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 Jovilabe, equinoctial dials, burning mirrors and lantern slides. Join the SIS to receive copies of the Bulletin, or click here to see the table of contents and download the free essays.

BULLETIN 139 – December 2018

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 Zuidervaart’s monumental essay on the life and work of Johan van der Wyck (1623–1679) – both free to download. Join the SIS to receive copies of the Bulletin, or click here to see the table of contents and download the free essays.

BULLETIN 138 – September 2018

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 have superbly detailed and illustrated account of a reconstruction of Humphrey Cole’s stunning 1586 theodolite, by Jeffrey Lock. As always there’s plenty more, including articles on sundials, and accounts of the SIS’s (many) recent trips and meetings.

Click here to see the table of contents and freely available articles for issue 138.

Highlights of the Bulletin Part I: The Mensing Case

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.

Anton W.M. Mensing (1866–1936)

Anton W.M. Mensing (1866–1936)

Click the image to download the article.

Click the image to download the article.

BULLETIN 134/135 – September/December 2017

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 visit to the wonderful Combe Mill), as well as articles on John Cuff, Richard Long, Humfrey Cole and (many!) others...