Saturday, November 17, 2012

Austran weights

Nest of Austrian weights of the 18th century. Selected by D.E.Smith for his collection to illustrate the ancient, “Problem of Weights”. One example of this problem is given by Claude Bachet as:
What is the least number of weights that can be used on a scale pan to weigh any integral number of pounds from 1 to 40 inclusive, if the weights can be placed in either of the scale pans?
This particular set of weights is elaborately decorated and is one of the best specimens of the weight maker’s art of the period. It bears at least ten official seals, one of which contains the date 1787.

Austran weights 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thomas Digges' Pantometria

This is the title page of A Geometrical Practise Named Pantometria, a guide to applied geometry published by Thomas Digges (1546-1595) in 1571. Pantometria was completed by Thomas from a manuscript left by his father, Leonard Digges, who died when Thomas was 13 years old. After his father's death, Thomas became the ward of John Dee (1527-1609), sometime scientific advisor to Queen Elizabeth I. Thomas was greatly influenced by Dee, and remained friends with him throughout his life. Thomas Digges became a recognized astronomer and the leader of the English Copernicans.

See more pages from Thomas Digges' Pantometria