Thomas Shaw Brandreth

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Thomas Shaw Brandreth, FRS (24 July 1788 – 27 May 1873) was an English mathematician, inventor and classicist.

Fellow of the Royal Society Elected Fellow of the Royal Society, including Honorary, Foreign and Royal Fellows

Fellowship of the Royal Society is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of London judges to have made a 'substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science'.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Mathematician person with an extensive knowledge of mathematics

A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics in his or her work, typically to solve mathematical problems.

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Early life and education

Brandreth was the son of a Cheshire physician, Joseph Brandreth. He studied at Eton and received a BA from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1810 as Second Wrangler, second Smith's Prizeman, and chancellor's medalist, attesting to his keen intelligence. [1] He received his MA in 1813, and was subsequently elected to a fellowship at Trinity and called to the bar. He entered legal practice at Liverpool, but was much diverted from advancement by his interest in inventions.

Cheshire County of England

Cheshire is a county in North West England, bordering Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east, Staffordshire and Shropshire to the south and Flintshire, Wales and Wrexham county borough to the west. Cheshire's county town is the City of Chester (118,200); the largest town is Warrington (209,700). Other major towns include Crewe (71,722), Ellesmere Port (55,715), Macclesfield (52,044), Northwich (75,000), Runcorn (61,789), Widnes (61,464) and Winsford (32,610)

Physician professional who practices medicine

A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients and methods of treatment—known as specialities—or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities—known as general practice. Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines underlying diseases and their treatment—the science of medicine—and also a decent competence in its applied practice—the art or craft of medicine.

Eton College British independent boarding school located in Eton

Eton College is an English 13–18 independent boarding school and sixth form for boys in the parish of Eton, near Windsor in Berkshire. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor, as a sister institution to King's College, Cambridge, making it the 18th-oldest Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference school.

Inventions

Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1821 for mathematical achievements, he had by that time invented a logometer (an early slide rule), and went on to design and patent a friction wheel and a clock escapement. These achievements led him into friendship with George Stephenson, and he played a role in the survey and engineering of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, particularly the crossing of Chat Moss. However, he resigned as a director of the line shortly before its completion.

Slide rule mechanical analog computer based on scales (markings)

The slide rule, also known colloquially in the United States as a slipstick, is a mechanical analog computer. The slide rule is used primarily for multiplication and division, and also for functions such as exponents, roots, logarithms and trigonometry, but typically not for addition or subtraction. Though similar in name and appearance to a standard ruler, the slide rule is not meant to be used for measuring length or drawing straight lines.

Escapement mechanism in clocks

An escapement is a mechanical linkage in mechanical watches and clocks that gives impulses to the timekeeping element and periodically releases the gear train to move forward, advancing the clock's hands. The impulse action transfers energy to the clock's timekeeping element to replace the energy lost to friction during its cycle and keep the timekeeper oscillating. The escapement is driven by force from a coiled spring or a suspended weight, transmitted through the timepiece's gear train. Each swing of the pendulum or balance wheel releases a tooth of the escapement's escape wheel gear, allowing the clock's gear train to advance or "escape" by a fixed amount. This regular periodic advancement moves the clock's hands forward at a steady rate. At the same time the tooth gives the timekeeping element a push, before another tooth catches on the escapement's pallet, returning the escapement to its "locked" state. The sudden stopping of the escapement's tooth is what generates the characteristic "ticking" sound heard in operating mechanical clocks and watches. The first mechanical escapement, the verge escapement, was invented in medieval Europe during the 13th century, and was the crucial innovation which made the mechanical clock possible. The design of the escapement has a large effect on a timepiece's accuracy, and improvements in escapement design drove improvements in time measurement during the era of mechanical timekeeping from the 13th through the 19th century.

George Stephenson English civil engineer and mechanical engineer

George Stephenson was an English civil engineer and mechanical engineer. Renowned as the "Father of Railways", Stephenson was considered by the Victorians a great example of diligent application and thirst for improvement. Self-help advocate Samuel Smiles particularly praised his achievements. His chosen rail gauge, sometimes called 'Stephenson gauge', was the basis for the 4 feet 8 12 inches (1,435 mm) standard gauge used by most of the world's railways.

In the early days of railroading, it was by no means clear that the steam locomotive would come to be the principal form of propulsion for trains. Brandreth invented a machine which used a horse galloping on a treadmill as its source of motive power. A prototype, the Cycloped , participated in the Rainhill Trials in 1829, but it had to be withdrawn when the horse broke through the floor of the machine. In any case, the trials proved the superiority of steam motive power in all but exceptional circumstances.

Steam locomotive railway locomotive that produces its pulling power through a steam engine

A steam locomotive is a type of railway locomotive that produces its pulling power through a steam engine. These locomotives are fueled by burning combustible material – usually coal, wood, or oil – to produce steam in a boiler. The steam moves reciprocating pistons which are mechanically connected to the locomotive's main wheels (drivers). Both fuel and water supplies are carried with the locomotive, either on the locomotive itself or in wagons (tenders) pulled behind.

Horse Domesticated four-footed mammal from the equine family

The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus. It is an odd-toed ungulate mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature, Eohippus, into the large, single-toed animal of today. Humans began domesticating horses around 4000 BC, and their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BC. Horses in the subspecies caballus are domesticated, although some domesticated populations live in the wild as feral horses. These feral populations are not true wild horses, as this term is used to describe horses that have never been domesticated, such as the endangered Przewalski's horse, a separate subspecies, and the only remaining true wild horse. There is an extensive, specialized vocabulary used to describe equine-related concepts, covering everything from anatomy to life stages, size, colors, markings, breeds, locomotion, and behavior.

A treadmill is a device generally for walking or running or climbing while staying in the same place. Treadmills were introduced before the development of powered machines, to harness the power of animals or humans to do work, often a type of mill that was operated by a person or animal treading steps of a treadwheel to grind grain. In later times, treadmills were used as punishment devices for people sentenced to hard labour in prisons. The terms treadmill and treadwheel were used interchangeably for the power and punishment mechanisms.

Family, judicial office, and Homer

Brandreth married a Harriet Byrom, of Fairview (a suburb of Liverpool), in 1822, by whom he had two daughters and five sons, among them Thomas Brandreth, a distinguished naval officer. A move to London further diminished his legal practice, and he ultimately declined the offer of a judgeship in Jamaica and retired to Worthing and devoted himself to the education of his children.

Admiral Sir Thomas Brandreth, was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Third Naval Lord and Controller of the Navy.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Jamaica Country in the Caribbean

Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the fourth-largest island country in the Caribbean. Jamaica lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola.

In retirement, he again took up the study of classical literature, and made a lengthy inquiry into the use of the digamma in the works of Homer. His studies were published in 1844 as A Dissertation on the Metre of Homer; and reflected in an edition of the Iliad with digammas. This was followed by a well-received translation of the Iliad into blank verse in 1846. Brandreth died in Worthing in 1873. He took an interest of local affairs, becoming a justice of the peace for West Sussex and taking a hand in the improvement of the town's infrastructure.

Digamma, waw, or wau is an archaic letter of the Greek alphabet. It originally stood for the sound but it has principally remained in use as a Greek numeral for 6. Whereas it was originally called waw or wau, its most common appellation in classical Greek is digamma; as a numeral, it was called episēmon during the Byzantine era and is now known as stigma after the Byzantine ligature combining σ-τ as ϛ.

Homer name ascribed by the ancient Greeks to the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey

Homer is the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, around 20 years after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary.

<i>Iliad</i> epic poem attributed to Homer

The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.

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References

  1. "Brandreth, Thomas Shaw (BRNT805TS)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.