Glorious Gearworks, Extended–Models of the Solar System, 1817-182

JF Ptak Science Books  Quick Post

I’d like to make a quick addition to an earlier post on a form of  Pearson’s planetarium.  This is from the same source, though from a few years later, and involves Pearson’s Satellitian, which was a differently-abled device.  All of the images appeared in the magisterial if not occasionally problematic Cyclopedia of Abraham Rees (1743-1825).

The first image is a cross section for he “Satellite Machine by Roemer”, followed by “Janvier’s Jovilabe, and the with Willliam Pearson’s “Satellitian”, all appearing on the same 11×8″ sheet and printed in 1820.

First, the Roemer:

Planetary MAchine Roemer

Here’s a description from Rees on the Roemer instrument (this courtesy of Google Books; the images are my own):

  • A good article on the Roemer and the Pearson machines appears in the Edinburgh Magazine, volume 15, 1832,

 And the Janvier:

Planetary MAchine jANVIERb

And the Pearson machine:

Planetary MAchine Pearson

This is the second Pearson instrument, the heart of  a beautiful orrey created by William Pearson (1767-1847, and one of the founders of the Royal Astronomical Society) as found in the 1817 volume of Rees, and features the main gearing for a mechanical display of the functioning of the Solar System:


This is the detail from the following, full-length version, which is 8″x10″–so there’s a fair amount of detail in a limited field:



And the beautiful Dadaist detail of Jupiter and Saturn:




By: Ptak Science Books
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *