Orrery planetary model designed by William Pearson, 1813-1822

Made:
1813-1822 in London
inventor:
William Pearson
maker:
Robert Fidler

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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

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

Fidler orrery. Full view, graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Fidler orrery. Detail of makers inscription.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Fidler orrery. Detail of top plate with sun, moon and months. Black background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Fidler orrery. Detail of Earth globe, graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Mean Motion Orrery with drum case on claw foot stand showing seven planets out to Uranus by Robert Fidler, London. Designed by Rev. William Pearson in 1813 and described in Rees's Encyclopedia.

Dated 1813--22, this planetary model was designed by the astronomer, William Pearson and made in London by John Fidler. Called an orrery or planetarium, it is a demonstration model to show the motions of the Earth, Moon and planets around the Sun. This example has a brass drum base with pedestal stand and seven planets out to Uranus on long rod-arms. Such devices 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 elaborate orrery is the only surviving example of several planetary models devised by William Pearson.

Details

Category:
Astronomy
Object Number:
1950-55
Materials:
brass, complete, ivory, paper, steel
type:
terrestrial globe
taxonomy:
  • disciplines
  • disciplines
  • science
  • natural sciences
  • physical sciences
  • visual and verbal communication
  • globe - cartographic sphere
credit:
Mr H.D. Black
status:
Permanent collection

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