In 14th January 1782, Joshua Lover Martin applied for a patent which was to produce a revolution in manufactuing: it was for the process of tude-drawing But by the time the patent was granted on 28th March, his father Benjamin, whose invention it was, had died - bankrupt.
The circumstances of his death led to his effects being sold at auction; the catalogue has survived and it reveals the astonishingly wide range of scientific instruments which Benjamin Martin sold in his Fleet St shop. Hs barometers are particularly interesting and have both technical and aesthetic merit.
We have one, which Martin called his "Triple Weather Glass" or Aerometrum Magnum and it has the first really practical hygrometer based on gut rather than oat beard. Our example also appars to be unique, in that the hygrometer mechanism, in which the gut is held taut by a pring-loaded rack and pinion, can be zeroed by means of an adjustment wheel at the base.
The dial is especially elegantly laid out and engraved and the mahogany surround is beautifully carved.
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