Michael T. Wright

M.A., M.Sc., F.S.A.

Mechanician & Historian of Mechanism

 

Welcome to my website, but please accept my apologies! This is a new venture and you have visited just a little too early. I hope before long to have some interesting material for you to see, but because I am learning to construct the website myself it will take me a little time; please visit again later.

 

My main interests are in tools and the ways in which they are used, and in instruments and mechanism, especially instruments of precision. I cover all historical periods, but am particularly interested in the earlier history of most topics. I carry out research and write, but I also undertake practical work including experiment, restoration and reconstruction. I think it important, in studying the history of any subject, to have a grasp of its practicalities. So, I work both at the desk and at the bench, aiming always to combine practical insights with an academic approach. I am also interested in the history of allied subjects such as mathematics and astronomy.

 

I am setting up this website mainly because people keep asking about my work. I am happy to discuss things that interest me, and am delighted that other people find them interesting too; but often answering messages takes up so much time that none is left for doing anything else. In due course, the material posted here should provide answers to many of the questions that people ask.

 

Most questions are about my work on the Antikythera Mechanism, the oldest geared mechanism in the world. I will soon post information on what I have already published, and on my working reconstructions of this instrument. I have a great deal more still to write on the subject, and this website will develop accordingly. For now, let me invite you to visit the website of my good friend Dr Fabio Soso, who has compiled a collection of items connected with my work:

http://hist.science.online.fr/antikythera/index.htm

I also recommend you to see the virtual model created, using data provided by me, by another good friend, Mogi Vicentini:

http://www.mogi-vice.com/Antikythera/A-W-M.zip

 

I am active in other fields also; but here too, please be patient. New features will appear from time to time.

 

Finally, for now, here are some basic facts about myself. I was born in London in 1948. I enjoyed a broad traditional education and have degrees in Physics (University of Oxford) and History of Technology (University of London). After a short spell as a schoolmaster, I joined the staff of The Science Museum, London in 1971, and worked there until 2004. For most of that time I was Curator of Mechanical Engineering, responsible for a wide range of material. I am now an Honorary Research Associate at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology & Medicine, at Imperial College, London, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.