Adams of Fleet Street, Instrument Makers to King George III

1st Edition

John R. Millburn

Published May 23, 2000
Reference - 442 Pages
ISBN 9780754600800 - CAT# Y284600


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’G. Adams in Fleet Street London’ is the signature on some of the finest scientific instruments of the eighteenth century. This book is the first comprehensive study of the instrument-making business run by the Adams family, from its foundation in 1734 to bankruptcy in 1817. It is based on detailed research in the archival sources as well as examination of extant instruments and publications by George Adams senior and his two sons, George junior and Dudley. Separate chapters are devoted to George senior’s family background, his royal connections, and his new globes; George junior’s numerous publications, and his dealings with van Marum; and to Dudley’s dabbling with ’medico-electrical therapeutics’. The book is richly illustrated with plates from the Adams’s own publications and with examples of instruments ranging from unique museum pieces - such as the ’Prince of Wales’ microscope - and globes to the more common, even mundane, items of the kind seen in salesrooms and dealers - the surveying, navigational and military instruments that formed the backbone of the business. The appendices include facsimiles of trade catalogues and an annotated short-title listing of the Adams family’s publications, which also covers American and Continental editions, as well as the posthumous ones by W. & S. Jones.

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