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Everyday Instruments


    Elliott Brothers eye-catching poster: An eye on humidity is an eye on efficiency

    By the second half of the 19th Century, Elliott Brothers based much of their business on innovative developments in the physical sciences and engineering.

    Nevertheless they continued to make and sell a wide range of ‘bread and butter’ devices – standard instruments for professional users in Britain and overseas, along with some for a more general public.

    Elliott Brothers: catalogue of Mathematical Drawing Section


  • This fully-featured set of traditional drawing instruments, with water colours in the base of the box, was made by the founder of the firm. An engraved plaque on the case lid records that it was given as a gift in 1841.

  • Introduced at the beginning of the 19th century, the camera lucida was a popular drawing aid. Fastened onto a drawing board, its small prism allows the user to directly sketch the outlines of a scene which appears superimposed on the paper.

  • This portable design is ‘compensated’ so as to be independent of temperature and it can also be adjusted for the user’s altitude.

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