There are many famous women in the history of science: Rosalind Franklin, Marie Skłodowska Curie, Caroline Herschel, and numerous others, about whom we are learning more all the time. Less well known are the ‘craftswomen’ who made instruments for measuring, modelling and investigating the world.
In this exhibition, you can see instruments made under the direction of women, and instruments by makers who were trained by women. Some instruments may have been crafted entirely by women – but this labour remains hidden, because women rarely signed their work. Women were also significant in the ‘print culture’ of science: publishing, printing and advertising instruments and discoveries.
As with many other areas of the history of science, women contributed actively to the creation and circulation of knowledge, and as we now see, also to the crafting of its tools.