from : http://www.theglasgowstory.com/image.php?inum=TGSE00101
Museum of Transport
John Fulton (1803-1853) was a shoemaker from Fenwick, Ayrshire. He became interested in astronomy and in orreries - machines which demonstrate how the planets and their moons rotate round the sun.
Fulton built three orreries, the third of which is pictured here. It was the most intricate of them all and took him four years to build. When it was completed he displayed it in Kilmarnock and then, in October 1833, brought it to Glasgow. It went on show in the saloon of the Argyll Arcade for a shilling admission fee and was a great success with the public. Fulton then took the orrery on a tour of the United Kingdom and eventually settled down in London.
In 1869 a group of Glasgow businessmen led by William Walker bought the orrery for the city. It was toured around Glasgow schools and museums until the 1930s when it found a more permanent home in the Old Glasgow Museum.
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums
Life - Fulton's Orrery
Fulton's Orrery, John Fulton, 1000 x 3000 x 3000mm.
Built by John Fulton at his family home in Fenwick, Ayrshire, over a period of 10 years, beginning in 1823. Exhibited round Britain. Purchased by Glasgow Corporation and donated to the City Council on 20th November 1869.
In the year 1800, in the small village of Fenwick in Ayrshire, John Fulton was born. He followed his father in his trade as a cobbler. Fulton was typical of a breed of technical innovators whose imagination and skill drove forward the Industrial Revolution. Largely self-taught, he studied botany, learned several foreign languages and constructed a ‘velocipede’ or early bicycle. He also experimented with the production of coal gas. Astronomy held a particular fascination for him. He caught the attention of a wider public when he successfully assembled an orrery – a working model of the solar system. This was purchased by the Philosophical Society of Kilmarnock and exhibited in towns around Scotland and England. The creation of the orrery won him a medal awarded by the Scottish Society of Arts along with a prize of ten sovereigns. His technical skills brought him employment in London where he worked for a firm which produced scientific instruments for the King, William IV. Ill health forced him to abandon his professional activities and return to Fenwick where he died in 1853.