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Glossary

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A

  • advertising sign

    A commercial advertisement made for display on railway premises.

  • advice note

    Accounting form or docket used to record and communicate the existence of a financial obligation owed to or by the company.

  • adze

    Long-handled tools with a curved blade set perpendicular to the handle; used for dressing lumber.

  • AIDS

    Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease caused by infections resulting from a weakened immune system due to the HIV virus. It leads to failure of the immune system and is usually fatal. It is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids.

  • air sampler

    A device for obtaining and measuring air samples to assess the quality of air and the presence of any contaminants.

  • aircraft

    An aircraft is a vehicle that travels through the air above the ground. It is either supported for flight by the action of air on its surfaces (aeroplane), or by buoyancy (balloon).

  • albarello

    A form of jar, typically from Medieval Spain, used for storing drugs. The word ‘albarello’ is of Spanish origin but historians appear divided over whether or not the design of the jar originated in Spain, Morocco or China. The shape of the waisted jar is distinctive.

  • album - book

    Books with blank pages used for assembling and presenting a collection, or any unpublished sets of pages that are bound or loose-leaf and have other materials affixed to them or writing or other images made on them. The volume may have been constructed with blank pages that were intended to have materials affixed, or it may have been assembled after having had materials affixed to separate pages.

  • albumen print

    Photographic print having albumen as the binder; always black-and-white, though it may be toned to a monochrome hue.

  • albumenometer

    An instrument for determining the amount of albumen in a patient's sample of urine

  • albums

    Use for unpublished sets of pages, bound or loose-leaf, either intended to have, or assembled after having, material affixed to them or writing or other images made on them. GMGPC.

  • alchemy

    A form of medieval chemistry that incorporated aspects of philosophy. It was concerned with transforming metal, particularly into gold, and potentially creating an elixir to prolong life.

  • alcohol thermometer

    Instrument using the expansion alcohol in a glass tube against a line scale to measure air temperatures. Can be used for lower temperatures than a mercury thermometer

  • alembic

    Apparatus of glass or metal formerly used in distillation. It is in the shape of an inverted bowl with an internal gutter along the rim into which the condensed vapor descends and from which extends a long horizontally sloping tube to the receptacle for the distilled liquid.

  • allergy

    A state in which the body becomes hypersensitive to specific substances. When these substances come in contact with the body they provoke particular reactions. Common indications of allergy may include sneezing, itching, and skin rashes.

  • alligator

    Broad-snouted crocodile-like reptile found in the USA and China.

  • allocation plate

    A cast plate that indicates the name or code of the motive power depot or sub-depot to which the locomotive or unit is currently allocated.

  • alms bowl

    The giving of alms, or charitable donations, is a ritual in many religions. An alms bowl was a vessel into which these charitable donations would be placed.

  • alms box

    Box used to collect alms, or charitable donations. Historically also known as a 'poor box' or 'mite box', it was often placed in church to collect money for the needy.

  • altimeter

    Instruments that measure and indicate the altitude of an object above a fixed level, such as sea level or ground level. Mostly based on a modified adjustable aneroid barometer calibrated to indicate height

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