Home. Drawing Instruments. Slide Rules. Calculators. Miscellaneous. About Collecting. References. Links and Contacts. Technical Papers.
Drawing Instruments 1580 - 1980; Maya Hambly; pub: Sotheby's (1988)
The most comprehensive modern work on the subject. An essential reference for collectors.
Drawing Instruments; Michael Scott-Scott; Shire Album 180; pub: Shire Publications Ltd.
A useful introduction covering traditional style British instruments from 1850 - 1950
Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550 - 1851; Gloria Clifton; pub: Zwemmer/National Maritime Museum
A monumental reference work which cannot be too highly recommended
Handlist of Scientific Instrument Makers' Trade Catalogues 1600 - 1914; RGW Anderson, J Burnett and B Gee; National Museums of Scotland Information Series No. 8
A very useful reference document; there are however some important catalogues available in British libraries & museums which are not listed
Slide Rules, Their History, Models and Makers; Peter M Hopp; pub: Astragal Press (1999)
The most comprehensive book on slide rules, packed with information
Practical Draughtsmen's Work, Paul N Hasluck, pub:Cassell & Co Ltd (1901)
Text book on architectural drawing and map making at the start of the twentieth century.  18 page chapter on drawing instruments
The Construction and Principal Uses of Mathematical Instruments; M. Bion, Translated and Supplemented by Edmund Stone; pub: originally 1758, reprinted 1995 Astragal Press
A fascinating book. 325 small folio size pages with 30 plates illustrating the instruments of the eighteenth century. Detailed instructions on the use of such instruments as the sector and Gunter's rule.
Milestones of Kern & Co. AG on the Internet, see links page
A brief history of the firm and information on dating instruments.
Partners in Creating - The first century of K&E 1867-1967; William Franklin; Keuffel & Esser, 1967
A history of the firm.
An Introduction to the History of Elliott Brothers up to 1900; Gloria Clifton, Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society No 36, 1993
A useful paper on the firm which is the subject of ongoing research
Tours Around Members' Collections - A Collector's Tale, David M Riches, Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society No 83, 2004
A description of the author's experiences whilst building up his collection
A Treatise on Mathematical Instruments, J F Heather MA, John Weale, London (1851)
A useful mid C19 reference. Good section on the use of the sector.
Keuffel & Esser Co. Catalogue, 37th Edition, 1928
(I have many other catalogues, all of which are useful references)
A 548 page, hard bound volume, containing about 260 pages of drawing instruments, slide rules, and related items. Still available from old book dealers reasonably priced - I paid $25 for my copy.
The Oughtred Society Slide Rule Reference Manual, Editors Ted Hume & Bob Koppany, Striking Impressions, 2005
Covers types of rule, how to use one, typical slide rules, history, collecting, conservation
The Modern Carpenter Joiner and Cabinet Maker, Compendium of Drawing & Drawing Instruments, G Lister Sutcliffe, Editor, Roy Underhill, Consultant, National Historical Society, 1990
Facsimile edition of Volume III of a 1902 publication. 30 pages on instruments.
Mathematical Drawing and Measuring Instruments, William Ford Stanley, 7th Edition, E & F N Spon, 1900
The classic book on drawing instruments published in several editions. This one has 370 pages. Expect to pay £100 or more for a copy but well worth it.
The Slide Rule: A Practical Manual, C N Pickworth, 14th Edition, Whittaker & Co, 1916
One of the best early manuals. Adverts and descriptions for British rules of the period.
Teach Yourself Books, The Slide Rule, Burns Snodgrass, English Universities Press
Written around Unique slide rules; Snodgrass was the proprietor of Unique.
A Century of Scientific Instrument Making 1853-1953, Cecil J Allen, W F Stanley & Co, 1953
A history of the W F Stanley firm.
Brass & Glass, Scientific Instrument Making Workshops in Scotland, T N Clarke, A D Morrison-Low & A D C Simpson, National Museums of Scotland, 1989
The definitive work on Scottish instrument makers.
Engineering Drawing, Thomas E French, McGraw Hill, 1st Ed, 8th Impression, 1911
Probably the best American textbook on engineering drawing, with a chapter on instruments. Published over very many years so get a later edition as well as it was much revised. Can be bought for as little as $1.
Collecting and Restoring Scientific Instruments, Ronald Pearsall, David & Charles, 1974
Excellent chapter on restoration.
Scientific Instruments 1500-1900, An Introduction, Gerard L’E Turner, Philip Wilson, 1998
A good introduction to the subject by one of the world’s foremost experts on scientific instruments.
Making Scientific Instruments in the Industrial Revolution, A D Morrison-Low, Ashgate, 2007
Looks at the effects of the Industrial Revolution on the instrument making trade.
Aneroid Barometers and their Restoration, Philip R Collins, Baros Books, 1998
Detailed book on aneroid barometers covering every aspect.
Barometer Makers and Retailers 1669-1900, Edwin Banfield, Baros Books, 1991 & 2000
Very useful reference list. Banfield has written several books on barometers.
Collecting Microscopes, Gerard L’E Turner, Christie’s,
A useful introduction to the subject.
The Microscope, Jabez Hogg, Routledge, 15th Edition, 1911
(also 5th edition, 1861)
First published in 1854, covers history, construction and use. Illustrations and details of contemporary microscopes so worth buying more than one edition.
The Microscope and its Revelations, W B Carpenter, revised by W H Dallinger, J & A Churchill, 7th Edition, 1891
1100 pages. Covers much the same ground as Hogg but even more detail. Again worth buying more than one edition. 8th is two volumes.
Tools - A Guide for Collectors, Jane & Mark Rees, Roy Arnold,1996
238 page quarto paperback. Sections on drawing instruments and slide rules. Guide prices. Also covers buying & selling, care & cleaning, materials, famous makers.
Instruments of the Imagination - A History of Drawing Instruments in Britain 1600-1850, Howard Dawes, The Dawes Trust Ltd, 2009
Based on the author’s superb collection of important and rare instruments. Describes their use and their makers.
Compass & Rule - Architecture as Mathematical Practice in England, Anthony Gerbino & Stephen Johnson, MHSO, 2009
Produced to accompany the exhibition at the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford. Drawing instruments and their use in producing  architectural drawings.
Joint Slide Rules - Sectors, 2-foot 2-fold and similar slide rules, Peter M Hopp, Jeremy Mills Publishing Ltd, 2009
202 pages with many colour illustrations and bibliographical details of all known makers.
Instrument Makers to the World - A History of Cooke Troughton & Simms, Anita McConnell, University of York, 1992
116 pages covering the history of the firm and its predecessors over more than 200 years.
Catalogue of the Andrew Alpern Collection of Drawing Instruments at the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library Columbia University, distributed by W W Norton & Co Inc, NY, 2010
Over 150 pages illustrating in full colour and describing in detail 129 items from this superb collection.
The Story of William Stanley A Self Made Man, Eloise Akpan, Eloise Akpan publisher 2000
86 pages describing the life of the leading maker of drawing instruments in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
The Rule Book, Measuring for the Trades, Jane Rees and Mark Rees, Astragal Press, 2010
Over 450 pages copiously illustrated in colour with every type of rule. Comprehensive list of makers.
Pocket-Watch Slide Rules, Peter M Hopp, Astragal Press, 2011
168 pages full of detail on these interesting calculators including all the variants known at the time of writing and a list of makers.
Practical Surveying, George Wm Usill, 10th Edition, revised & enlarged by Alexander Beazeley, Crosby Lockwood & Son, London, 1911
An excellent textbook  on surveying published in many editions with illustrations of instruments and descriptions of their construction, adjustment & use.
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