Rosalind Croucher

The British Journal for the History of Science

Research Article

Mrs Janet Taylor’s ‘Mariner’s Calculator’: assessment and reassessment



 a1 Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Sydney, Australia. Email:

a2 Professor, School of Law, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University, Australia. 


Vanished from history is the story of the ‘Mariner’s Calculator’, invented and patented at the Great Seal Patent Office, London, by Mrs Janet Taylor, in 1834. Dismissed by the Admiralty, it had no commercial future and only one instrument is known to remain in existence. The article traces the invention from its inception and provides relevant biographical details of its inventor. The authors then analyse the assessment by the Admiralty to determine if it was fair and outline the endeavour in 2004 to reassess the achievement by a reconstruction of the Mariner’s Calculator from its original patent.

See more about Ros at


About mallerstang

Member of the Guild of One Name Studies researching the name CUMPSTON and its variants. You can see my website at I have a new study of the name LAXEN with its own blog at and a further research blog which is not registered as a one name study of KNAGGS of Flamborough
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