George Stephenson's laboratory air pump
This laboratory air pump is still, astonishingly, in working order. It is believed to have been manufactured in Derby by John Davis, an ‘Optician and Mathematical Instrument maker’.
Davis produced a wide variety of instruments and apparatus for both the investigation and the demonstration of experimental philosophy (physics), architecture and engineering.
This pump is thought to have been acquired by George Stephenson when he lived at Tapton House, Chesterfield (1838-48). Possibly, the pump remained at Tapton House after the Markham family bought the house as their family home and then also during its periods as Tapton House School (1931 – 1993) and Chesterfield College (1994 – 2018).
This historic object has recently been transferred to Chesterfield Museum.