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Comments

Ray Girvan

Nice reminder - some years back, I worked in the Geophysics department at Birmingham University, and was involved in re-assembling a Milne-Shaw seismograph brought in in pieces by an aged guy who was, I recall, Shaw's son. The clockwork recording drum was beyond repair, but we managed to rig it up with a magnet and coil out of an old galvanometer to give an electrical output. It worked well enough for an open day demo.

John F. Ptak

Fascinating story, Ray. I'm curious now for more background. This reminds me of stories about John Strong (optics) who would show up at observatories with malfunctioning/busted drives or mechanical foulups and he would fix stuff with the oily box of bits from the supply closet.

Ray Girvan

If you don't mind my running with it, I fancy chasing it up too. Milne's a fascinating guy; he went to Japan as a academic, and came back with a Japanese wife (a Buddhist abbot's daughter) and servant, to live on the outskirts of Newport, Isle of Wight. Somehow - last year being a bit hectic - I missed the centenary of his death, in July 2013, when there were a lot of thematic displays around Newport.

John F. Ptak

Not at all, Ray--you may have of the space you might want here forever, as your comments are always diverting (while at the same time being spot-on), interesting, enlightening, and very entertaining.

Ray Girvan

Done: Milne-Shaw http://jsbookreader.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/milne-shaw.html

John F. Ptak

Great storytelling, Ray! Thanks for sharing.

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