Learning from and Lecturing on the Weston Collection
by Eiju Matsumoto

I was invited by the New Jersey Institute of Technology to present a lecture on June 25, 1999. I had visited the archives of the New Jersey Institute of Technology four times before, and it was during my second visit that I found Weston's engineering notes, which propelled me into detailed research on Weston.

My lecture, titled "History of Precise Readings Applied to Electrical Measuring Instruments" (based on a report in Vol. 117-A [1997] of the Journal of the Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan), began with astronomical observation instruments of the fourteenth century and led to my findings on the scale that Weston used in electrical measuring instruments in the nineteenth century.

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Weston is one of the most important historical persons for the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and the Institute kindly invited me to deliver a lecture about Weston to make the archive more widely known. My two-hour lecture was held online over the Internet to allow anyone to attend it through the NJIT’s homepage.

The Weston Collection of the New Jersey Institute of Technology perhaps marks the origin of measuring instruments, as well as the origin of Yokogawa. Since the firm was established in 1915, Yokogawa has been manufacturing instruments similar to Weston's precision measuring instrument exhibited in its Robert W. Van Houten Library. As part of my lecture, I showed a video reconstruction of hand-drawing work of scale graduation for electric measuring instruments using an original jig.

*1: Trans.IEE of Japan, Vol.117-A, 1997

Images not available:

Me (Eiju Matsumoto) answering questions following the lecture

Robert W. Van Houten Library

Hand-drawing Work at Yokogawa in the 1950's