John Whitehurst, English horologist, c 1783.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Anker Smith, 1788, after an original oil painting by Joseph Wright of Derby, c 1783. John Whitehurst FRS (1713-1788) was a Derby scientist and clock-maker. He invented the popular round dial long case clock, as well as making compases, timers, pyrometers and barometers. However, his most important achievements were in geology. In 1763 he sent Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) his theory on the origin and formation of the earth, which was later published. His work on strata enabled the effective prospecting and mining of minerals such as coal, lead and copper. Plate from 'The Universal Magazine', published by W Bent on October 10, 1788. Dimensions: 175mm x 113mm.