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Adams family (per. 1734–1817), makers of scientific instruments and globes, came to prominence through George Adams senior (bap. 1709, d. 1772), who was baptized on 17 April 1709 in the parish of St Bride's, Fleet Street, London, the eldest surviving son of ...

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John R. Millburn

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Adie, Alexander James (1775–1858), maker of scientific instruments, was born on 7 January 1775, and baptized at Greyfriars parish church, Edinburgh, the posthumous second son of John Adie and his wife, Elizabeth, née Miller. His father was a printer, one of the proprietors of the ...

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Adie, John (1805–1857), maker of scientific instruments, was born on 27 September 1805 in Edinburgh, the eldest of four sons of Alexander James Adie (1775–1858), scientific instrument maker, and his wife, Marion, née Ritchie. Although his early years remain obscure, it can be assumed that he served his apprenticeship in ...

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Allen, Elias (c. 1588–1653), maker of mathematical instruments, was born near Tonbridge, Kent, probably in Ashurst, of unknown parentage. Apprenticed in 1602 to London instrument maker Charles Whitwell in the Grocers' Company, he served his master for nine years. Following Whitwell's death in 1611, ...

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John Arnold (1735/66–1799) by Susan Esther Reid (after Robert Davy) Heritage Images Partnership

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Arnold, John (1735/6–1799), watch and chronometer maker, was the son of John Arnold (1702–1776), clockmaker, of Bodmin, Cornwall. He was apprenticed to his father and probably worked briefly for his uncle William Arnold, a gunsmith, before going to the Netherlands about 1755. There he improved his knowledge of clockmaking and learned German, a language which later proved useful to him in the Hanoverian court. He returned to ...

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Atkins, Samuel Elliott (1807–1898) (1765/6-1855), chronometer maker and politician, was born on 13 April 1807 at Clement's Lane, off Lombard Street in the City of London, the son of George Atkins, chronometer maker, and his wife, Theodosia Mary née...

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Alexander Bain (1810–1877) by Campbell Harper? Science & Society Picture Library

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Bain, Alexander (1810–1877), clockmaker and inventor, was born in October 1810 at Houstry, in the parish of Watten, Caithness, the fifth of eleven children of John Bain, a crofter, and his wife, Isobel Waiter. After a basic education at the local village school, ...

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Archibald Barr (1855–1931) by James Russell & Sons, 1930 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Barr, Archibald (1855–1931), engineer and manufacturer of range-finders, was born at Glenfield, near Paisley, Renfrewshire, on 18 November 1855, the third son of Archibald Barr, yarn merchant, and his wife, Jeanie Stirrat, of Paisley. From Paisley grammar school he entered the local works of ...

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Barrow, Henry (1789/90–1870), maker of mathematical instruments, was born in Halesworth, Suffolk, the son of William Barrow, merchant. Nothing is known of his education or apprenticeship, beyond his attendance at the London Mechanics' Institute. On May 1816 at Christ Church Greyfriars, London...

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Bate, Robert Brettell (1782–1847), maker of scientific instruments, was born in Old Swinford, Worcestershire, on 27 February 1782, the third of four sons of Overs Bate, mercer and banker of Old Swinford, and his wife, Susannah Brettell. Both his parents came from prosperous merchant and landowning families. No record of his schooling or any apprenticeship has been found, but by 1804 he was in ...

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Edmund Beckett, first Baron Grimthorpe (1816–1905) by unknown photographer by courtesy of the British Horological Institute Limited; original on display at the Upton Hall Time Museum, Upton, Newark, Nottinghamshire; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Beckett, Edmund [formerly Edmund Beckett Denison], first Baron Grimthorpe (1816–1905), ecclesiastical controversialist, architect, and horologist, was born at Carlton Hall, near Newark, on 12 May 1816, the eldest son of Sir Edmund Beckett, fourth baronet (1787–1874), later MP for the West Riding...

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(Elizabeth) Ruth Naomi Belville (1854–1943) by Samuel A. Walker, c. 1890 [Image of Maria Belville, Ruth Belville's mother, who was also a ‘time lady’] National Maritime Museum, London