Tag Archives: science

The View From Where You Sit: Personal Magnification Devices

Microscope: 3 convex lenses in the inner cylinder, fitting into shagreen (snakeskin)- covered tube, with gilt-bronze finial cap and tripod stand, optics by Passemant, ingénieur du roi, France, c. 1750 photo: metmuseum.org

by Melody Amsel-Arieli   Simple magnification devices, like water-filled spheres and rock crystal (quartz) “burning glasses” were known around the Mediterranean and across the Middle East in ancient times. These evidently served not only to light kindling but also to cauterize wounds and enlarge texts. According to Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, Nero viewed gladiator […]

Inspired by Plants: The Glass Flowers as a Window into Botanical Education

The Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants on permanent exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Harvard University Herbaria. Photo by Jennifer Berglund

By Donald H. Pfister and Jennifer Brown, Harvard University Herbaria Unless otherwise noted, all images courtesy of the Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants, Harvard University Herbaria / Harvard Museum of Natural History. Photos by Natalja Kent © President and Fellows of Harvard College   When we look at the Ware Collection of […]

A Bright Future for Neon Lights

A Bright Future for Neon Lights

Exploring Antique Technologies by Kary Pardy Considered ideal Man Cave accessories for their flashy glow and their connection to popular brands, neon lights made a splash in advertising throughout the twentieth century and have been mounting a comeback. Could your décor use a non-traditional pop of color? Consider adding a bit of neon to your […]

A Schlüsselgerät 41 Cipher Machine Comes to Auction

A Schlüsselgerät 41 Cipher Machine Comes to Auction

The device is so rare that even the world’s largest science and technology museum, the Deutsches Museum in Munich, was thrilled to receive one recently that had been excavated, heavily corroded and clearly not functional, as an archaeological find. Thus, the sale of the Schlüsselgerät 41 cipher machine is one of the highlights of Hermann […]

Exploring Antique Technologies

Exploring Antique Technologies

by Kary Pardy From the wheel to the iPhone X, the broad term “technology” encompasses each of our inventions and tools. But what happens when we no longer need the technology, when the tool is replaced by something more modern? As with furniture and fine art, there is a collectible market for those discarded technologies. […]

Ken's Korner: “Science’s missing link” will remain in Britain

Ken’s Korner: “Science’s missing link” will remain in Britain – The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles – June 2006 The journal of 17th-century scientist Robert Hooke will be housed at the Royal Society (Britain’s premier science academy) and not auctioned, as was originally planned. The manuscript, hailed as “science’s missing link” because it charts the […]