One of 15 assorted photographs of Nasmyth's crater models illuminated at a low angle showing Vesuvius and neighbourhood of Naples and originally mounted in Nasmyth's own album. Illustrated in the book, 'The Moon' by Nasmyth & Carpenter (London, 1874), plate VI right.
Made 1850-1871, this photograph shows a plaster relief model of the Moon's surface. Constructed by James Nasmyth, a successful industrialist and engineer, it is based on lunar observations made at his 20-inch reflecting telescope. Working from his Moon drawings, he calculated the height of the lunar features by measuring the length of their shadows. These were then photographed with suitable lighting to produce better results than could be achieved at the time using direct lunar photography. Nasmyth went on to photograph a whole series of his lunar models. They were used to illustrate the book, 'The Moon' that Nasmyth published in 1874 with James Carpenter.