The Animate It project resulted in a series of short films that bring to life a selection of working scientific instruments from the Museum's collection. All are on permanent display but for conservation reasons would not normally be handled or demonstrated in public. The films include demonstration, explanation, and some historical background.

Click on the images below to watch the films and read more about the objects.
Armillary Sphere
 

Armillary Sphere

Armillary sphere for demonstrating the heavenly spheres made and signed by Carlo Plato, Rome, c.1588.
Camera Obscura
 

Camera Obscura

Early 19th-century collapsible camera obscura in mahogany case with velvet screen.
Diptych Dial
 

Diptych Dial

Diptych sundial from a specialist workshop of the Tucher family in Nuremberg, c.1600, made of ivory, gilt brass, silver and glass.
Gregorian Telescope
 

Gregorian Telescope

Gregorian reflecting telescope made by James Short, London, 1755. Brass with primary and secondary mirrors in speculum metal.
Medicine Chest
 

Medicine Chest

Early 19th-century medicine chest, c.1820, made of mahogany with ten glass medicine bottles, scales, weights, and measures.
Octant
 

Octant

Octant with mahogany T-frame with ivory scale and vernier; made by Thomas Howard dated 1769, Liverpool, with maker’s inscription on cross strut.
Orrery
 

Orrery

An early 19th-century table orrery made by W. & S. Jones, London, with three alternative sets of fittings which include a planetarium, tellurian and lunarium.
Wimshurst Machine
 

Wimshurst Machine

Wimshurst twin plate electrostatic machine made by Harvey & Peak, 1898. Mahogany stand with varnished glass plates, tin foil sectors, and brass conducting rods.