The Art of Engineering

Westbury's Soapbox Derby has been on a mission to encourage interest in engineering. The festival has supported music at the derby through its Westbury Festival stage but the festival also encourages art, hence this evening's theme.

A Society for the Encouragement of Everything

Overshadowed by the scientific Royal Society of luminaries like Isaac Newton and Christopher Wren, there is another Royal Society, around for nearly 270 years, which has curiously managed to combine a role in both technology and arts. Laurence Scales will straddle both those worlds with a talk inspired by the 18th and 19th century inventions depicted in the archives of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce - once dubbed 'a society for the encouragement of everything'. 
 From the plough that looks like a violin to the e.g.: curious pencil that sharpens backwards,  you'll soon share Laurence's passion for this ingenious and sometimes baffling era.  

Laurence Scales

Laurence Scales

Following a career in technology and engineering, Laurence Scales has carved a niche among guides and lecturers in London, specialising in the history of science, invention and medicine. His passion for finding curious characters and their stories has been fed by years volunteering in the archives of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts Manufactures and Commerce. He has contributed numerous articles to the Royal Institution’s website and to, and has twice set the questions for the British Library’s annual Talk Science pub quiz.


Thursday 20 Jul 23


Doors at 7pm
7:30 pm


The Laverton
The Laverton
Bratton Road, Westbury, Wiltshire BA13 3EN
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