Tag Archives: The Royal Society

Support

When I began the project I knew nothing of the Royal Society, what an Astronomer Royal might be or what form the wonderful ‘Philosophical Transactions’ took (which have supplied so much of my source material). The learning process – particularly … Continue reading

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Great lines, Faint lines

It’s not even a page in length; there is just one paragraph that makes clear Hutton is inventing a new type of line: “This method was the connecting together by a faint line all the points which were of the … Continue reading

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Cooking with Columns (and tables)

Once Hutton had conceived his columns: “it is evident that the plan must be divided into a great number of parts, perhaps not less than a thousand for each observatory… forming about two thousand such pillars of matter…” With his … Continue reading

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Chas. Hutton – The Man

Charles Hutton was born in Newcastle in 1737; I wonder what he himself would have cited as his greatest achievement? He had much to be proud of: good at maths, his first teaching post was in Jesmond, for how many … Continue reading

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Great Lines (triangles, skeletons & spots)

My original sources of enlightenment regarding Charles Hutton’s invention of contour lines were firstly Countryfile on TV (watched with my mum), second Wikipedia, third Edwin Danson’s book ‘Weighing the World’.  Hutton was a computing wizard (long a verb before a … Continue reading

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Making Connections: a line through history

Our Italian Marsigli has important friends; on Isaac Newton’s recommendation he had been elected a member of the Royal Society in 1691. In the 1720’s he visits London then travels on to the Netherlands where at Leiden he also met … Continue reading

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Three Hands

Back from the Netherlands and now based up at Highgreen for a week surrounded by high moorland, I’m itching to slip out of the watery depths and into the airy light of contour lines proper. The good news is I … Continue reading

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