Looking back over their professional lives, eminent scientists often contrast current laboratory practices with those of their own early years. 'In those days,' they tell us, 'it was usual to build one's own equipment. Today no on starts work without the most advanced equipment money can buy.' This essay takes this observation as its starting point, and suggests that it results from two rather different kinds of phenomena.
"Whatever happened to the string and sealing wax?", Proc. SPIE 10309, Invisible Connections: Instruments, Institutions, and Science, 1030908 (1 June 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.2283713; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2283713