Rowley Original Orrery
Dated 1712--3, this planetary model was made by the London instrument maker, John Rowley. Called an orrery or more correctly a tellurium, it is a demonstration device to show the motions of the Earth and Moon around the Sun. Such apparatus became popular during seventeenth century especially after Sir Isaac Newton published his universal theory of gravity. This particular example was made for Charles Boyle, the fourth Earl of Orrery in Ireland. Rowley copied it from an earlier example made by the London clock maker, George Graham. Much admired in its day, it was given the title, 'orrery' after its owner, a name that was subsequently applied to later planetary models or machines.
Currently on display in:Science in the 18th Century
Year made :1712-1713
Inventory number :1952-73
Original orrery planetary model by John Rowley, 1712-1713
April 2009 - went to see this orrery in the science museum - it is much largere than I had expected!
Credit:Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
In Collection of: Science Museum