History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search

Narratives

An instrument or a domestic appliance?

A worm-jack, driven by a falling weight, may be used to move anything requiring a rotary motion, e.g. the roasting of an animal on a spit. However, this carefully constructed instrument was probably intended for scientific purposes, and may have been used by Lord Orrery for driving astronomical models. It is unsigned and undated but may have been made by John Rowley.

In Thomas Wright's catalogue of the Orrery Collection (1731), this instrument is described as 'A Compound Machine on a Stand wh ye 3 Weights'. Only one weight appears to have survived.

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