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    John W. Thomson Scientific Journal , dated between March 1829 and September 1871. Thomson, a Scottish hatter who moved to America in 1843, has filled most of the pages of the journal with records of his hat business and ruminations on various scientific matters.

    In March 1829, John Thomson (ca. 1805-1871) of Kilmarnock, Scotland, began recording information in this journal. The earliest entries regard his business and include such information as orders received for hats, cloth purchases, and weekly retail sales figures (e.g., for the week beginning October 11, 1834, Thomson sold 18 hats). According to entries, Thomson arrived in America in 1843 and soon opened a hatter's shop. After four years, he moved to Philadelphia. His later entries include more scientific information related to his business, such as various calculations, recipes for waterproofing solutions to be applied to hats, instructions for dyeing hats, information on other hat makers, and quotations from the Scientific American and newspapers (including the advertisements that he placed). Still later, he began writing more interesting and lengthy entries on topics such as sugar production, ink, barometers, telescopes, and changing hair color. Many scientific entries come under Thomson's heading "For Study" in which he considers such topics as street paving, steam engines, the preservation of flowers, and more. Some entries include sketches, such as a working steam engine. Also recorded by Thomson are numerous contemporary copies of letters that he sent and received. Most of these are Civil War-dated, but appear to discuss mostly scientific matters.

    The front pastedown for Thomson's journal reads, "John Thomson / Kilmarnock / Memorandum Book." The front board has detached, and the rear board is loose. No pages, though, have detached. 4.5" x 7.25". Also included is a facsimile of a page from an early nineteenth century Scientific American that contains an article on "Thomson's Combined Barometer and Thermometer," as well as other facsimiles concerning patents granted Thomson in 1852 and 1864 for artesian well bores and barometers.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2011
    13th-14th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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