A model Solar System

The Science Museum in London: The original orrery c. 1712, made for the Earl of Orrery by John Rowley, London copied from a planetarium model made by George Graham. Dated 1712-3, this planetary model was made by the London instrument maker, John Rowley. Called an orrery (or more correctly, a tellurium), it is a demonstration device to show the motions of the Earth and Moon around the Sun. Such apparatus became popular during seventeenth century especially after Sir Isaac Newton published his universal theory of gravity. This example was made for Charles Boyle, the fourth Earl of Orrery in Ireland. Rowley copied it from an earlier example made by the London clock maker, George Graham. Much admired in its day, it was given the title, ‘orrery’ after its owner, a name that was subsequently applied to later planetary models or machines.