James M. Gaynor
1778, Thomas Marquois placed his first advertisement for "His
artificial Parallel and Perpendicular Scale or Ruler, by which military
plans are drawn accurately in half the usual time
Thomas Marquois was a Huguenot, living in London, whose family had
fled from France when the persecution of Protestants became intolerable.
We do not know his date of birth but in 1742, he was apprenticed
to Paul Foudrinier, one of the leading 18th century engravers. Whether
he finished his apprenticeship has not been recorded but in 1757,
an advertisement was placed in London Public Advertiser by John
Muller the Professor of Fortification and Artillery at the Royal
Military Academy, Woolwich, recommending his " late Pupil Mr.
T. O. MARQUOIS, of John-street, near Oxford-market, London, as perfectly
capable of teaching those Sciences
In 1757, Marquois opened his first military academy in the Tilt
Yard Coffee House in Whitehall where he offered to teach a range
of subjects including Fortification, Artillery, Mathematics, Navigation,
Drawing, &c. He continued to run his academy in a variety of
locations in London until his death in 1802, at the same time promoting
his parallel scales to which over time, he made a number of improvements.
Although Marquois sank into obscurityafter his death, his scales
did not and Marquois parallel scales are described in nearly every
English book on mathematical instruments published during the nineteenth
century. Many of the best-known mathematical and scientific instrument
makers offered them. During the early twentieth century, knowledge
of their use was required for students taking their examination
for admission to the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. The British
military continued to acquire them as recently as World War II.
This monograph outlines Marquois's life, explains how his scales
were used, who made them and several later improvements. It is extensively
illustrated and includes Marquois's own instructions for their use.
James M. Gaynor was Director of Historic Trades and a Consulting
Curator for Mechanical Arts at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
at the time of his passing in 2014. He had an insatiably enquiring
mind and over his life, he developed probably the most comprehensive
understanding that has ever been accomplished in the study of historic
tools and trades. Perhaps the most singular thing about Jay was
that he shared that knowledge so generously and freely with anyone
who showed an interest, whether they be academics, working tradespeople
or just interested amateurs or collectors. Not only was he hugely
knowledgeable and willing to share, he was also immensely interested
in whatever his colleagues and friends were doing, sustaining that
level of interest throughout his career.
In 1994 he curated Colonial Williamsburg's tremendously successful
exhibit, "Tools, Working Wood in 18th Century America",
which ran from January 1994 through June 1995 in the DeWitt Wallace
Gallery at Colonial Williamsburg which brought together the best
of many collections from both America and Britain. He co-authored,
with Nancy Hagedorn, the book "Tools, Working Wood in Eighteenth
Century America" which gives a lasting record of the exhibit
and is a seminal reference work for anyone interested in this field.
As part of his duties at Williamsburg, Jay ran a number of symposia
covering various trades, including the hugely popular Woodworking
Symposium, held in January of each year for the last 17 years. He
has written and lectured extensively on historic tools and trades.
He was a founding member of the Tools and Trades History Society
(TATHS) in Britain. He served on the Board and was President of
the Early American Industries Association (EAIA). Jay had spent
over eight years researching, documenting, and writing the material
presented in this book. Jane Rees in cooperation with TATHS worked
to get this material published and shared with those interested
as a lasting tribute to Jay Gaynor.
pages, paperback, color and b&w illustrations, 8.25" x
10", © 2015
Order Number: VAP387..........$20.00