By Robert SCHOFIELD

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Extra resources for The Lunar Society of Birmingham: A Social History of Provincial Science and Industry in Eighteenth-Century England

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Most o f his attention was devoted to science, the making o f mechanical contrivances, and periodic visits to London. O n one o f these trips he attended a show given by ‘the celebrated Comus\ which apparently was a combination o f ‘magic’ and parlour-science. In concert with a new friend, Sir Francis Delaval, Edgeworth devised a show o f his own which was presented to the company o f D elaval’s friends, thus winning acquaintance with many men o f eminence in London. Turning his attention to problems o f communication, he designed a mechanical telegraph, after having read o f such devices in Wilkins’s Secret and Swift Messenger, and in some of the works o f Robert Hooke.

B’s renunciation of the Dr’s debt to him with a reference to you and me what part of the annual free profits shall be paid to the Dr. in case of success, during the term of the patent or of such agreement as we may make under its authority & may continue longer. As I found the engine at Kinneil perishing and as it is from circum­ stances highly improper that it should continue there longer; . . I have this week taken it in pieces and paket up the Iron works . . ready to be shipt for london on its way to Birmingham.

The previous year Edgeworth had been in Chester, where, he says: By accident I was invited to see the Microcosm, a mechanical exhibition . . the machine represented various motions of the heavenly bodies with neatness and precision . . the person who showed the exhibition was induced to let me see the internal structure of the whole machinery. In the course of conversation . . he spoke of Doctor Darwin, whom he had met at Lichfield. He described to me a carriage, which the Doctor had invented.

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