History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search


Orrery telescopes misidentified in print

The Orrery Collection is fully illustrated and discussed in chapter 6 of Anthony Turner, Early Scientific Instruments: Europe 1400-1800 (London, 1987).

Unfortunately the images for two of the telescopes (inv. 29920 and 18872) were transposed: figures 262 and 265 should be swapped.

To add further confusion, the caption for figure 265 (the longer unsigned telescope with brass ends, inv. 18872) says that it is mounted on a tripod. While it may be possible to rest the instrument on the tripod that is part of the Orrery Collection, it is the shorter James Wilson telescope with wooden ends (inv. 22920) which has brass work to match the tripod.

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