History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search


Former Display Label - The Principal Makers of Instruments in the Orrery Collection


JOHN MARSHALL(1663-1725) was a London optical-instrument maker and a member of the Spectaclemakers company. By the end of the century, her had an outstanding reputation as a maker of telescopes and microscopes. He advertised that he was 'the only person that has, or ever has had, the approbation of the Royal Society etc. '. His successive addresses were: the Three Keys, Ivy Lane; the Gun, Ludgate Street; and the Sign of the Archimedes and Spectacles (later the Two Golden Prospects) in Ludgate, opposite the west end of St. Paul's.

JOHN ROWLEY (fl. 1698, ob. 1728) was one of the most prominent mathematical-instrument makers during the reign of Queen Anne, and at the beginning of the next reign was appointed Master of Mechanics to the King. He was noted for his accurate scales. In 1704 he worked at the Sign of the Globe 'under St. Dunstan's Church in Fleet Street; in 1710, he had a second address at Johnson's Court, Fleet Street.

HENRY SUTTON (fl. 1637, ob. 1665), a London instrument maker and one of the best known engravers of scales, quadrants, etc., was renowned for his accuracy, and in demand for drawing diagrams for mathematical books. His premises were behind the Royal Exchange, in Threadneedle Street, where he sold mathematical books as well as instruments.

JAMES WILSON (c. 1665-1730) was a London optical-instrument maker who made some improvements in microscope design, and who developed the screw-barrel pocket-microscope associated with his name. His address was the Willow Tree, Cross Street, Hatton Garden.

JOHN WORGAN (fl. 1686-1714), of London, specialised in surveying instruments and sundials. Worgan also made surveying instruments for other instrument makers. Rowley may have been his business partner. His premises were'under the Dial of St. Dunstan's Church, Fleet Street'.

THOMAS WRIGHT (1686-?1748) was mathematical-instrument maker to the Prince of Wales (1718), and to George III. He may have worked for Rowley. He compiled the inventory of the Orrery instruments after Lord Orrery's death. Examples of Wright's work in this Museum include: an orrery (c.1731), lent by Christ Church, and exhibited near this case; a circumferentor (in the surveying case (no.47)); and an analemmatic sundial (in case no.13).

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