Mathematical Works by Edward Sang (1805-1890)

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The works of Edward Sang include 13 volumes of logarithms and 26 miscellaneous volumes on a variety of mathematical subjects including geometry and algebra, trigonometry, the theory of variables, driving belt calculations, and load-bearing calculations for the Forth Bridge. There is also a volume on The teeth of wheels.

Evidence of Sang's surveying/civil engineering is shown in the plans of the policies of Mount Melville, 1818 (estate in Cameron, Fife, owned by John Whyte-Melville 1797-1883). These are shown in 5 figures contained in plan folder measuring 53cms by 41 cms. The plans show the grounds, a plan of Mount Melville Garden, and the estate hot-houses .

Administrative / Biographical History

Edward Sang was born in Fife on 30 January 1805. He went to school in Kirkcaldy and already as a boy he showed an inclination towards mathematics. In 1818, Sang joined Edinburgh University when still a teenager, and studied mathematics. On leaving the University in 1822 he followed a career as a surveyor and civil engineer, and then became a teacher of mathematics in Edinburgh. In 1828, Sang was elected a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts and he brought before the Society over one hundred papers on a wide variety of subjects covering mathematics, natural philosophy, astronomy, and engineering. In 1841 he became Professor of Mechanical Science at Manchester New College, and shortly after that he travelled to Istanbul to help in the establishment of civil engineering in Turkey and in the building of railways there. In 1849 Sang was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 1856 he read a paper on the gyroscope in relation to his suggestion of an experiment that would demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. Sang claimed that he had proved this by an experiment in 1836, pre-dating the experiment performed by Foucault. Edward Sang died on 23 December 1890

Conditions Governing Access

Contact the repository for details

Other Finding Aids

An important finding aid is the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives. Additions to the typed slips in sheaf binders were made until 1987.

Archivist's Note

before 1890

Personal Names