Orrery planetary model by the Laing Planetarium Company, 1910-1920

1910-1920 in Detroit, Michigan and United States

Orrery patented 1897 (No.578,108 USA) and 1910 (No.958,139 USA) by Alexander Laing and manufactured by Laing Planetarium Company, Detroit, Michigan.

Dated to the early twentieth century, this planetary model was made by Laing Planetarium Company in Detroit, United States. Called an orrery, or more correctly a tellurium it is a demonstration model to show the motions of the Earth and Moon around the Sun. 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 uses hand driven pulleys with cords on a wooden pedestal stand. This type of model would have been commonly employed in schools or colleges where astronomy was being taught.

On display

Science Museum: Making the Modern World Gallery

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Object Number:
plates & fittings, brass, scales, paper and stand, boxwood
terrestrial globe
  • disciplines
  • disciplines
  • science
  • natural sciences
  • physical sciences
  • visual and verbal communication
  • globe - cartographic sphere
Trevor Philip and Sons Limited

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