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British Industrial History

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Duc de Chaulnes (1714-1769)

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Duc de Chaulnes microscope (maker unknown) and depth gauge (to left of microscope) on display at Museo Galileo (Florence)
Detail of microscope - micrometer stages
Detail of microscope
Duc de Chaulnes microscope at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford
Detail of the Oxford microscope

Michel Ferdinand d'Albert d'Ailly was a French astronomer and physicist. He made important contributions in the field of scientific instruments.

1714 born at Versailles on 31 December

1744 Became the 5th duc de Chaulnes

1769 Died in Paris on 23 September.

c.1751 he invented a new type of a microscope, which he had built in England, and whose description he had published. About ten survivors are currently known.

The above information is condensed from the French Wikipedia entry.

He developed accurate methods of measuring lenses. He also developed improved methods of dividing scales, and between 1765 and 1768 he had two dividing engines constructed, one linear and the other for circular division. These are said to be the earliest known examples after the circular engine produced by Henry Hindley c.1739.[1]. However, the Museo Galileo (Florence) has a circular dividing engine made in Florence, stated to have been made in 1762.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 'Scientific Instruments of the 17th & 18th Centuries and their Makers' by Maurice Daumas, translated by Dr Mary Holbrook, Portman Books, 1972