Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 10.djvu/512

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [9* s. x. DEC. 27, im


philosophical and other instruments, and especially of apparatus for projection and polarization, now greatly extended by their new patent oxy hydrogen and electric-light microscope, has acquired for them a world- wide fame. It will perhaps be of interest also to note, by the way, that Messrs. Newton hold the contract for supply ing His Majesty's Navy with " transmitters " for the new wire- less telegraphy. This sign of the "Globe and Sun " may be seen upon an old shop- bill in their possession, which, however, relates to the business as it was con- ducted in Chancery Lane, and Nathaniel Hill, apparently the founder of the firm, is there described as globe-maker and engraver, and as making and selling "all Sorts of Mathematical Instruments, in Silver, Brass, Ivory, Wood, very curious and true graduated both for Sea and Land with Books of their Use, and the best Black Lead Pencils, also New and Correct Globes of 3, 9, 12 and 15 Inches Diameter. Estates surveyed and Maps." Here we see the reason for the adoption of the " globe " as a sign, as repre- senting astronomy and geography, and signifying the sale of all such appliances as are necessary in a pursuit of their study. This Nathaniel Hill was a son-in-law of the original Mr. Newton, who was first cousin to Sir Isaac Newton, the former being descended from a second and the latter from a first son. A representation of the first Newtonian tele- scope invented by the great philosopher, and made with his own hands in 1671, adorns the stationery used by the present firm. It is now in the possession of the Koyal Society, and the circumstances of its invention no doubt gave rise to the frequency with which this illustrious name was adopted by opticians and spectacle-makers, although Archimedes presumably on account of his burning- glasses, or, in the case of a rnapseller, of his planetarium representing the motions of the heavenly bodies was also a favourite on their signboard. John Marshall, when ap- pointed optician to the king, changed his sign to the " Archimedes and King's Arms " when, in 1718, he advertised his "chrystall dressing glasses for ladies, which shew the face as nature hath made it, which other looking - glasses do not " (' Hist, of Sign- boards,' 8vo, 1884, p. 62).

The " Sir Isaac Newton " was the sign of a telescope-maker in what was then called Lud- gate Street about 1795. This was probably identical with "TheSirlsaacNewton and Two Pair of Golden Spectacles" at 23, Ludgate Street, in 1796 (Banks Bills). This long sign was near the west end of St. Paul's. Either


Peter Dollond or his father John Dollond, who was the son of a Huguenot Spitalfields weaver, appears to have adopted the sign of John Marshall, king's optician, at the " Two Golden Spectacles," as alluded to above. At all events, Peter Dollond's sign was identical with Marshall's, with the addition, however, of a "Sea Quadrant." This appears from an interesting shop-bill, engraved after the manner of Hogarth's efforts in this direction, which is preserved on the premises. It depicts the pair of spectacles suspended from the top of the ornamental frame, with the achromatic lens which Dollond invented on the left-hand side, other objects shown being a Gregorian telescope, an ebony sea quadrant, and an old microscope with amplifying lens, but the sign is distinctly described as "The Golden Spectacles and Sea Quadrant." Whether this was the sign of Dollond pere is perhaps doubtful, for as there was a " Sir Isaac Newton " sign in Ludgate Street in 1795 it seems probable that the founder of the firm adopted it in honour of the philo- sopher, in the defence of whose doctrine of refraction he engaged against the illus- trious Swiss mathematician Leonard Euler, a defence which, with the fact of his having suc- ceeded in applying the micrometer to reflect- ing telescopes, and thefurtherfact that his first attention, when he adopted the study of astro- nomy, was directed to the improvement of refracting telescopes, would render the adop- tion of this sign singularly appropriate. The correspondence alluded to was published in the Philosophical Transactions. He next con- structed object glasses in which the different refrangibility of the rays of light was cor- rected, and to which the name of achromatic was given by Dr. Bevis on account of their being free from the prismatic colours. These achromatic prisms are the objects, three in number, blazoned in the later arms of the Spectacle-Makers, and it was their use for demonstrating the theory of light and colour which led to the invention of the achromatic telescope in 1758 by John Dollond. This telescope, when made public, excited the jealousy of philosophers at home and abroad, who pretended to doubt its reality and then endeavoured to find a previous inventorĀ ; but Mr. Peter Dollond stated and vindicated his father's right to the discovery in a paper read at the Royal Society in 1789 (see 'Life,' by Dr. Kelly), and was presented with the gold medal of the Society. In 1721 a fashionable resort known as "Radford's Toy shop," against St. Clement's Churchyard, near Arundel Street in the Strand, was distinguished by the sign of the " Great Golden Spectacles "