Orrery planetary model

Made:
1789-1795 in London
maker:
George Adams

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Brass drum orrery by George Adams, London with seven planets out to Uranus. An orrery is a clockwork model of the solar
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Brass drum orrery by George Adams, London on claw foot stand with mahogany case. Accessories include detachable tellurium and lunarium wheelwork with planet out to Uranus included.

Dated to the middle of the eighteenth century, this planetary model was made by the famous London instrument maker, George Adams. Called an orrery or planetarium, it is a demonstration model to show the motions of the Earth, Moon and planets around the Sun. It has a brass drum base with pedestal stand and seven planets out to Uranus on long rod-arms. Such devices became popular during the eighteenth century, especially after Sir Isaac Newton published his universal theory of gravity. To reproduce the motions of the solar system this model employs a hand crank to drive gear wheels. This fine orrery would have been the property of a wealthy individual with an interest in astronomy.

Details

Category:
Astronomy
Materials:
brass, card, complete, ivory, steel
Measurements:
overall (estimate): 470 x 600 x 340 mm
Identifier:
1927-528
type:
terrestrial globe
taxonomy:
  • disciplines
  • disciplines
  • science
  • natural sciences
  • physical sciences
  • visual and verbal communication
  • globe - cartographic sphere
credit:
Mr C.D. Field
status:
Permanent collection

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