The most spectacular demonstration of the transit of Venus in the 18th century was produced by Benjamin Martin. We have recreated his mechanical version of the transit of 3 June 1769, using the original engraving illustrated here.
Martins theatrical demonstration was staged in London. It was set up in the lecture room of his instrument shop in Fleet Street.
The scene itself is to the north of the city, looking westwards from Islington towards Hampstead. When set in motion, a clockwork mechanism pulls the Sun down the slot towards the horizon. At the same time, a hidden gear train moves the black dot of Venus across the face of the Sun, mimicking the appearance of the real transit.