Orrery planetary model by Benjamin Martin, 1738-1777

Made:
1738-1777 in London
maker:
Benjamin Martin

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Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Small orrery on mahogany stand showing 6 planets out to Saturn by B. Martin, London, mid 18th century.

Dated to the middle of the eighteenth century, this miniature planetary model was made by the London instrument maker, Benjamin Martin. Called an orrery or planetarium, it is a demonstration device to show the motions of the Earth, Moon and planets around the Sun. This example has a brass calendar base with a wooden pedestal stand and six planets out to Saturn on rod-arms. Such apparatus became popular during seventeenth 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 orrery was probably a novelty piece of a wealthy individual rather a device used by a serious astronomy lecturer.

Details

Category:
Astronomy
Object Number:
1912-222
Materials:
brass, complete, ivory, mahogany
type:
planetaria (models)
taxonomy:
  • disciplines
  • disciplines
  • science
  • natural sciences
  • physical sciences
credit:
Perceval, S.G.
status:
Permanent collection

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