By J.R. Millburn
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Additional resources for Benjamin Martin: Author, Instrument-Maker, and ‘Country Showman’
Aul(,ug/J; 1\-11. U,\" in \,-//flmi); Mr, fRJ,bIl>"lCK at But};; Mr. CRAICIIl 0;-;' in J/,/wir/;; and Mr. u'UI). IVIDCCXLlIl. Fig. 4. Title page of Martin's Course of Lectures textbook, his first publication relating to his lecturing activities. ' It provides us, for the first time, with positive evidence on the subjects covered by his standard course, and incidentally confirms that he really was an itinerant lecturer at this date. The 'public' lectures on natural philosophy given at the universities in the early years of the eighteenth century, such as those by John Keill (1671-1721) at Oxford and by William Whiston (1667-1752) at Cambridge, are sometimes considered to have constituted the first step in the development of adult scientific education in England-the forerunners of the courses subsequently given by the itinerant lecturers who flourished in the second half of the century.
6d. to 121. ; telescopes of 10, 6, 4, or 2 feet in length from 2 gns to 7s. ; and a portable air-pump at 4 gns, 'all made by B. Martin, inventor of the above microscopes'. The print Synopsis Scientiae Caelestis, 'dedicated to the Royal Society', was also mentioned. No address for Martin himself was given, indicating that he did not keep an optician's shop; readers were informed that the goods listed could be purchased from: 'J. Newbery, bookseller in Reading, Berks; 39 4 Itinerant Lecturer, 1740-55 Mr.
25 3 Dilettante and Microscope Maker, 1737-40 subsequently employed by George Adams and others, meaning 'simple or compound'. Similarly, the only justification for calling the pocket model 'reflecting' was that it incorporated a mirror for illumination of transparent objects; but this terminology was quite common at the time. The optician John Cuff, for example, used the 'Reflecting Microscope' as part of his shop sign, the figure being a Culpeper-type instrument. 2 In the twenty-nine pages of this tract-Martin's first publication specifically on scientific instruments--full descriptions were given of both models, with instructions for their use.
Benjamin Martin: Author, Instrument-Maker, and ‘Country Showman’ by J.R. Millburn