Photograph of a plaster relief model of the Moon's surface

1850-1871 in Manchester
James Hall Nasmyth

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One of 15 assorted photographs of Nasmyth's crater models illuminated at a low angle showing an unknown crater, originally mounted in Nasmyth's own album

Illustrated in the book,'The Moon' by Nasmyth & Carpenter (John Murray, 1874), plate IX entitled 'The Lunar Apennines, Archemedes, &c, &c'

Photograph taken 1850-1871 showing a plaster relief model of the Moon's surface centred on an unknown portion of the Moon. 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 with direct lunar photography. Nasmyth went onto photograph a whole series of his lunar models. They were used to illustrate the book, 'The Moon' that Nasmyth published in 1871 with James Carpenter.


Object Number:
card, complete and paper
frame: 375 mm x 306 mm x 33 mm,
image: 235 mm x 163 mm
photographic print
  • visual and verbal communication
  • photograph
  • positive - photograph
Mr D.J.Johnson

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