Micro-ruling engine

Henry Joseph Grayson (b.1856, d.1918)
The engine consists of a wooden frame, brass fixtures including hand wheel, and a glass bed.

This micro-ruling engine was was completely restored to its former condition by Mr. Gert Witte of the David Rivett Laboratories of the CSIRO.

Henry Joseph Grayson (1856 - 1918) was trained as a gardener and had a keen interest in microscopy for botanical studies. He constructed a type of machine to produce precision rulings to calibrate microscopes, which until then were not adequate for accurate measurements of specimens.
To calibrate a microscope, an object of known dimensions needs to be placed under the microscope and a conversion factor determined.
At the time microscopes were calibrated using rulings - slides with evenly spaced lines of known pitch. These rulings were not adequate, prompting Grayson to construct a new type of machine to produce precision rulings. Grayson's first version produced 40,000 lines per inch. In the early 1900's, Grayson joined the Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne.
In 1898 Grayson was appointed as laboratory assistant in physiology (also designated physiological school porter) at the University of Melbourne. On the arrival of Professor J. W. Gregory in 1900, he was transferred to geology and in 1901-02 was a member of Gregory's expedition to Lake Eyre. He was elected associate member of the Royal Society of Victoria in 1902. His work in geology and his reputation in microscopy gained him support in 1909 from professors (Sir) T. R. Lyle, E. W. Skeats and (Sir) D. O. Masson for a bursary. His election that year to the science faculty was supported by an article in the Argus.
See full details

Object detail

brass, glass, wood, varnish
38.0 x 51.0 x 80.0 cm
Accession Number
Credit line
Gift of the Estate of Mrs M Murray
Object Type
Medical History Museum Category


My shortlist

Explore other objects by colour

Do you know something about this object?

Be the first to comment on this object record.

Google reCaptchaThis site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.