The Adjustable Spanner is the product of thirty years' collecting and original research, fired by Ron Geesin's acquisition of the SLIK adjustable spanner that hung in his father's garage. At the core of this book is a concise history of this much-maligned tool. Serious and comical observations parallel its chequered life, from its bent beginnings in the blacksmith's shop to over-designed and lovingly engineered treasures from the small Birmingham machinist. Around this core are discussions and findings about components and construction on the practical side, and patents, registered designs and trade marks on the design protection side. Emerging from history, we take a closer look at uses and especially abuses, immerse ourselves in an analysis of types and styles, and dive deeply into the histories of the inventors and makers. You will be amazed at the engineering diversity required to produce these most fanciful but essential supports to the Industrial Revolution.
Ron Geesin was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, but escaped to England at the age of just 17 in a jazz band. After four years touring with the band, Ron began his solo career in London. In 1970, he composed music for the features The Body and Sunday Bloody Sunday while co-composing Pink Floyd's first gold album, 'Atom Heart Mother'. Over the years this polymath has been the subject of 'One Man's Week' for BBC Television, formed a one-man record company, written and presented two series for BBC Radio, made music for many documentaries and feature films, and continued to perform live and broadcast across the UK and Europe. In 1996 he became Senior Research Fellow at the University of Portsmouth, focussing on light and sound relationships, which led to his designing several large-scale installations. Now living in Sussex with his wife, Ron has been collecting adjustable spanners for over thirty years, and the results of this passion form the basis for this book.