George Adams (1750-1795)

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George Adams the younger (1750–1795) was an English optician and writer. He was mathematical instrument maker to George III of England, succeeding his father George Adams in the post.[1] He also made globes.[2]

Around 1770, Adams invented the lucernal microscope, a type of projection miscroscope where the image is projected on a screen by a large oil lamp, as to make it easier to draw or trace the image.[3]

In politics Adams was a Tory, and as such was received with favour at court by George III. He died 14 August 1795, at Southampton, and was succeeded in his business and in the post of mathematical instrument maker to the king by his brother, Dudley Adams.[1]


Adams wrote elementary scientific works, and on the use of mathematical instruments. He often combined religious with a scientific content, against, according to the Gentleman's Magazine, the "growing errors of materialism, infidelity, and anarchy". His works were:[1] He started writing at a young age, and developed a love for it, His main interest included math, science, and he expressed in his written essay's

  • An Essay on Electricity, to which is added an Essay on Magnetism (1784).
  • Essays on the Microscope (1787).
  • An Essay on Vision, briefly explaining the fabric of the eye (1789).
  • Astronomical and Geographical Essays (1790).
  • A Short Dissertation on the Barometer (1790).
  • Geometrical and Graphical Essays, containing a description of the mathematical instruments used in geometry, civil and military surveying, levelling and perspective (1790).
  • Lectures on Natural and Experimental Philosophy, in five volumes (1794).

For some of Adams's books, plates were published separately, and most of them had more than one edition.[1]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1885). "Adams, George (1750-1795)". Dictionary of National Biography. 1. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  2. ^ Lanman Globe Collection.
  3. ^ George Adams Jr. Lucernal Microscope

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainStephen, Leslie, ed. (1885). "Adams, George (1750-1795)". Dictionary of National Biography. 1. London: Smith, Elder & Co.