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probably made in London

Postcard of Rule.
© National Museums Scotland


This brass rule was made around 1750, probably by Jonathon Sisson of London. It was owned by William Galbraith, an early-19th-century Edinburgh teacher of Mathematics.

This side of the rule contains further scales (there are more on the other side), first published by Edmund Gunther in 1624. These scales were developed to assist easy computation, particularly by navigators, and used well into the 19th century.

After the death of William Galbraith, the rule was in the personal possession of J. D. Forbes, Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-002-066-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1984.59
Date: Around 1750
c. 1750
What: Scale
Who: J. Sifson (Inscribed on the scale)
J. Sisson, London (Maker)
William Galbraith (Inscribed on the scale)
Where: England, London
England, London
Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: Brass scale, inscribed 'William Galbraith / Edinr', by J. Sisson, London, c. 1750
  • For Galbraith, see obituary in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 11 (1851), pp 86-90 and Clarke, T.N., Morrison-Low, A.D. & Simpson, A.D.C. Brass & glass scientific instrument making workshops in Scotland as illustrated by instruments from 
  • For Sisson, see Clifton, Gloria, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851. London: 1995, p 253 
  • Stanley ,William Ford, A descriptive treatise on mathematical drawing instruments. New York & London: 1878, pp 215-9 
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