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The Description and Use of a New Portable Orrery, 1787

Date: 1787
Overall: 197 mm, 0.2 kg
Medium: Ink on paper, leather bound boards, gilt
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Book
Object No: 00005995
Place Manufactured:England

User Terms

    'The Description and Use of a New Portable Orrery' was written by William Jones and printed in 1787. An orrery is a mechanical device which depicts the motions of the Earth, Sun, Moon and planets in the solar system. They can also be used to demonstrate day and night, lunar phases, the seasons and eclipses. Jones' book describes a new portable orrery which represents the motions and phenomena of the solar system.
    SignificanceThis rare book is significant in providing an example of 18th Century astronomy models. This book enabled the reader to gain a greater insight into the solar system.
    HistoryThe first planetary model was thought to have been developed by the Greek Philosopher, Posidonius in 1st Century B.C. The first moden planetary model was created by instrument makers George Graham and Thomas Tompion in about 1704, which is viewed as a predecessor to the orrery.

    The orrery was named after the fourth Earl of Orrery, Charles Boyle. In about 1713, John Rowley an English instrument maker made his first orrery for Boyle. Following Rowley's creation, orreries were made for wealthy patrons, heads of State and Kings during the 18th and 19th Century. They were used as an aid in the study of astronomy which was deemed to inspire rational thought and encourage contemplation of the universe. They were also carried by philosphers who travelled throughout the world.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: The description and use of a new portable orrery, on a most simple construction, representing in two parts - the motions, and phaenomena of the planetary system; but most particularly the motions of the Earth and Moon, round the Sun, from whence ..

    Web title: The Description and Use of a New Portable Orrery, 1787

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