Ramsden, Jesse

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b. 6 October 1735 (?) Halifax, Yorkshire, England
d. 5 November 1800 Brighton, Sussex, England
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English instrument-maker who developed machines for accurately measuring angular and linear scales.
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Jesse Ramsden was the son of an innkeeper but received a good general education: after attending the free school at Halifax, he was sent at the age of 12 to his uncle for further study, particularly in mathematics. At the age of 16 he was apprenticed to a cloth-worker in Halifax and on completion of the apprenticeship in 1755 he moved to London to work as a clerk in a cloth warehouse. In 1758 he became an apprentice in the workshop of a London mathematical instrument-maker named Burton. He quickly gained the skill, particularly in engraving, and by 1762 he was able to set up on his own account. He married in 1765 or 1766 the youngest daughter of the optician John Dollond FRS (1706– 61) and received a share of Dollond's patent for making achromatic lenses.
Ramsden's experience and reputation increased rapidly and he was generally regarded as the leading instrument-maker of his time. He opened a shop in the Haymarket and transferred to Piccadilly in 1775. His staff increased to about sixty workers and apprentices, and by 1789 he had constructed nearly 1,000 sextants as well as theodolites, micrometers, balances, barometers, quadrants and other instruments.
One of Ramsden's most important contributions to precision measurement was his development of machines for obtaining accurate division of angular and linear scales. For this work he received a premium from the Commissioners of the Board of Longitude, who published his descriptions of the machines. For the trigonometrical survey of Great Britain, initiated by General William Roy FRS (1726–90) and continued by the Board of Ordnance, Ramsden supplied a 3 ft (91 cm) theodolite and steel measuring chains, and was also engaged to check the glass tubes used to measure the fundamental base line.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
FRS 1786; Royal Society Copley Medal 1795. Member, Imperial Academy of St Petersburg 1794. Member, Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers 1793.
Bibliography
1774, Description of a New Universal Equatorial Instrument, London; repub. 1791. 1777, Description of an Engine for Dividing Mathematical Instruments, London. 1779, Description of an Engine for Dividing Straight Lines on Mathematical
Instruments, London.
1779, "Description of two new micrometers", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 69:419–31.
1782, "A new construction of eyeglasses for such telescopes as may be applied to mathematical instruments", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 73:94–99.
Further Reading
R.S.Woodbury, 1961, History of the Lathe to 1850, Cleveland, Ohio; W.Steeds, 1969, A History of Machine Tools 1700–1910, Oxford (both provide a brief description of Ramsden's dividing machines).
RTS

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ramsden, Jesse — ▪ British tool maker born Oct. 6, 1735, Halifax, Yorkshire, Eng. died Nov. 5, 1800, Brighton, Sussex       British pioneer in the design of precision tools.  Ramsden was apprenticed as a boy to a cloth worker, but in 1758 he apprenticed himself… …   Universalium

  • Ramsden, Jesse — ► (1735 1800) Óptico y físico británico. Inventó la máquina eléctrica de su nombre y perfeccionó diversos aparatos geodésicos y astronómicos …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • RAMSDEN, JESSE —    mathematical instrument maker and inventor, born in Yorkshire; invented the theodolite for the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain (1735 1800) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Ramsden — Ramsden, Jesse …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jesse Ramsden — Jesse Ramsden …   Wikipedia

  • Jesse Ramsden — (1735 1800) fut un opticien anglais, constructeur d instruments de précision. Il était gendre de John Dollond. Il perfectionna ou inventa nombre d instruments, notamment le sextant, et créa une machine fort ingénieuse pour la division des… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jesse Ramsden — (* 6. Oktober 1735 in Halifax in der Grafschaft Yorkshire; † 5. November 1800) war ein englischer Optiker und Hersteller mathematischer und optischer Instrumente. Er lernte Kupferstecher, versuchte sich dann aber als Schwiegersohn des berühmten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ramsden — Ramsden, Jesse, Mechaniker, geb. 6. Okt. 1735 zu Halifax in der Grafschaft York, gest. 5. Nov. 1800 in Brighthelmstone, war Kupferstecher, baute dann aber optische Instrumente, namentlich vortreffliche Fernrohre und Mauerquadranten, und… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ramsden eyepiece — Rams·den eyepiece ramz dən n a nearly achromatic optical system that contains two plano convex lenses with the convex surfaces facing each other and is used esp. in instruments fitted with micrometer wires or a scale Ramsden Jesse (1735 1800)… …   Medical dictionary

  • Ramsden — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Barbara Mary Ramsden (1903–1971), australische Herausgeberin Jesse Ramsden (1735–1800), englischer Optiker John Ramsden (1947–2009), britischer Historiker Mel Ramsden (* 1944), britischer Konzeptkünstler… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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