The vast amount of science and technology collectables available is both dizzying and fascinating. Although many of them have been replaced by their modern counterparts, which can be more durable and accurate, particularly in the field of medical science, many items hold status not only as collector's pieces, but as working items today. Scientific items were crafted with care and detail, and many items are masterpieces simply from the quality of the workmanship alone.
Antique and Vintage Science Collectables
Science and medical antiques range from the mundane to the macabre. Most of these collectables hold antique status or, at the very least, can be classed as vintage.
The hydrometer is an instrument that was used as far back as Ancient Greece. The purpose of the hydrometer is to measure the gravity of liquids. Specific types of hydrometers were used in different industries, such as lactometers to determine the purity of cow's milk, alcohol meters to ascertain the alcoholic strength of spirits and saccharometers to determine the level of sugar in a solution. Saccharometers were commonly used in the winemaking industry. Their modern counterparts are somewhat different to the vintage product, and they make a great conversation piece.
Medical Science Collectables
The field of medical science has a long, interesting and sometimes gruesome history. Medical instruments, that today seem barbaric, were a matter of necessity and course just a hundred years ago. Medical items make great display pieces. Phrenology, the study of measurements of the human skull, was immensely popular in the 19th century, and the educational busts complete with diagrams make for an interesting piece of history. Medical and dental collectables include delicate and antique medicine bottles and impressive early sets of false teeth, painstakingly crafted from enamel.
Seafaring has largely been replaced by air travel, and traditional sailing methods have long been traded in for diesel and petroleum. In bygone times, however, sea travel was vital to a country's import and export industry, and nautical instruments were the items that served to guide the way. Sextants were instruments that measured the distance between stars to the horizon to aid in navigation. Compasses were essential to keep the correct direction, and most ships featured an impressive-looking barometer to predict the weather.