Science Museum Group Journal
The new Science Museum Group Journal presents the global research community with peer-reviewed papers relevant to the wide-ranging work of the Science Museum Group. The journal freely shares the research of four national UK museums and warmly invites contributions that resonate with their collections and practice.
Current Issue 01 Spring 2014
This first issue of the Science Museum Group Journal conveys some the breadth and depth of research surrounding the Group's collections and activities. It includes new research, for example, on William Bally's set of phrenological heads (one of the Science Museum's most beautiful objects) and on the historical significance of James Watt's workshop, as well as a close look at how eighteenth-century instrument makers used printed books . Discussion papers explore ideas about heroism and the effectiveness of the movement to engage the public with science.
Watt’s workshop: Craft and Philosophy in the Science Museum
A close examination of James Watt’s workshop, preserved in the Science Museum’s collections since 1924 and redisplayed in 2012, suggests a richer, more nuanced interpretation of his contribution to Britain’s Industrial Enlightenment as both philosopher and practical maker.
Reading, writing, drawing and making in the 18th-century instrument trade.
In 1761–62, King George III commissioned a group of philosophical instruments from the London instrument-maker George Adams. This article traces Adams’s techniques of borrowing and adapting printed instrument designs, as he produced this spectacular collection.
Coming home - Bally’s miniature phrenological specimens
Close inspection of William Bally’s miniature phrenological specimens – a set of 60 small plaster busts – has led to a reappraisal of their origin and use. Made in 1832, they helped position Bally as ‘one of the best practical phrenologists in England’.