To John Jones
Dec. 26. 1792.
By a catalogue of instruments and prices which you gave me when in London in 1785. I observe you make and sell for two guineas and a half a New Manual orrery and Planetarium, described in your pamphlet printed in 1784. If you will be so good as to pack one of these properly for me and deliver it to Mr. Alexander Donald of the house of Donald & Burton, Angel court, Throckmorton street, he will recieve and pay you for it on sight of this letter, which will be necessary as I have not written to him on the subject. He will also forward it with some other articles for which I have written to him. Will you be so good at the same time as to write me an answer to the following queries?
Martin in his 3d. Philosophic Britannica pg. 369. speaks much in favor of his new Reflecting Pocket telescope with a Megaloscope, sufficient to show Jupiter’s moons. Has it been brought into use? How has it answered and what is it’s price?
Dr. Maskelyne in the Ephemeris page 154. speaks of [Dollond’s] refracting telescope with 3. object glasses, of 46. I. focal length, which he says is equal to those of 10. feet with a double object glass. The price […]1?
The sizes of Globes, and their prices from 12. Inches to the largest, the Celestial supposed to have Bayer’s characters, the terrestrial with Cook’s discoveries?—Direct your letters to Thomas Jefferson at Monticello Virginia. I am Sir your very humble servt
PrC (DLC); illegible in part; at foot of text: “Mr John Jones instrument maker. No. 135. near Furnival’s inn Holb[orne].”
John Jones (b. 1739) was a mathematical and optical instrument maker in London who retired sometime between 1790 and 1793 and turned his business over to his sons William and Samuel (E. G. R. Taylor, The Mathematical Practitioners of Hanoverian England, 1714–1840 [Cambridge, Eng., 1966], 264–5; Roger Wakefield, Wakefield’s Merchant and Tradesman’s General Directory for London … for the Year 1790 [London, 1790], 185; William and Samuel Jones to TJ, 9 Mch. 1793).
Martin: Benjamin Martin, Philosophia Britannica; or, A New and Comprehensive System of the Newtonian Philosophy, Astronomy and Geography, in a course of Twelve Lectures, with Notes, 2d ed., 3 vols. (London, 1759–87). Dr. Maskeleyne: Nevil Maskeleyne, Tables Requisite to be used with the Nautical Ephemeris for finding the Latitude and Longitude at Sea (London, 1781). See Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends Nos. 3728, 3811. Bayer’s characters: Johan Bayer (1572–1625), a German astronomer, was the author of Uranometria, omnium asterismorum continens schemata, nova methodo delineata, aereis laminis expressa (Augsburg, 1603), which introduced a widely accepted system for designating the stars by letters of the Greek and Latin alphabets. Cook’s discoveries: a reference to the voyages of the English explorer, Captain James Cook, various accounts of which TJ acquired. See Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends Nos. 3937–41.
1. Three words illegible.