Rule (detail)

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probably made in London

Postcard of Rule (detail).
© National Museums Scotland

Rule (detail)

This is a detail of a brass rule made around 1750, probably by Jonathon Sisson of London. It was owned by William Galbraith (1786-1850), an early-19th-century Edinburgh teacher of Mathematics.

This detail shows the inscription in the centre of the rule. It reads 'J. Sifson / LONDON'. Jonathon Sisson (c 1690-1747) was one of the pre-eminent makers of precision instruments of his generation, particularly renowned for the fine division work required on such pieces. His son Jeremiah (1720-1783) was considered a less-able craftsman, and went bankrupt in 1751 and 1775.

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: 000-190-002-068-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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