- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Angier ? March Perkins was the son of Jacob Perkins, an American inventor who developed high pressure steam and, among other patents, he invented a central heating system. Jacob moved to London in 1819 to pursue his business of steel engraving (unsuccessfully marketing his secure banknote printing methods to the Bank of England). Angier, also an engineer, followed his family to London in 1821. After further developing his father's central heating system, he set up a business on Harpur Street in London in 1830. Angier achieved great commerical success with his high-pressure system, installing it in churches, houses and important institutions such as the Bank of England.
Perkins's high pressure water system was supplied in 1833, at a cost of £100, for use in the Court Room. The same apparatus was installed at 13 Lincolns Inn Fields in 1831, where it was still in use in the twentieth century (Bolton, p. 68).
Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).