Joseph Whitworth’s Vernier Caliper Gauge
Sir Joseph Whitworth (1803 –1887) was not only an engineer but also an entrepreneur, inventor, philanthropist and twice President of IMechE. In 1841 he devised the British Standard Whitworth system, which created an accepted standard for screw threads used into the 1980s. A Vernier Caliper Gauge measures the internal and the external diameters of an object with a greater degree of accuracy than a straight or circular measurement scale. Tools such as this revolutionised mechanical engineering, as it meant there was a standardisation to the measurements of things being produced that there just wasn’t before.
We also have both images of other of his machine tools, and his product catalogue digitised here: http://www.imeche.org/knowledge/library/archive/virtual-archive/joseph-whitworth-company