In 1876 the South Kensington Museum held a major international exhibition of scientific instruments and equipment, both historical and contemporary. Many of the items were retained and eventually formed the basis of important collections now held at the Science Museum, London. This is the 1877 third edition of the exhibition catalogue, which was expanded to include a ‘large number of objects’ received since the publication of the second edition, and which also included corrections in order to ‘afford a complete record of the collection for future reference’. In two volumes and twenty sections comprising over 4,500 entries, the catalogue lists a huge variety of items, ranging from slide rules and telescopes to lighthouse parts and medical equipment. It gives detailed explanations of how they were used, and notes of their ownership and provenance, while the opening pages comprehensively record the contributing individuals and institutions in Britain, Europe and America.
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