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An orrery is a mechanical model of the solar system. The name derives from Charles Boyle, the fourth Earl of Orrery, for whom John Rowley in London made a model of the earth and moon orbiting the sun around 1713.
This elegant example shows the Sun and eight planets. It was thus made after the discovery of Neptune in 1846 and, was probably made before the discovery of Pluto in 1930.
Object Name
Physical Description
brass, nickel-plated (overall material)
wood (overall material)
iron (overall material)
overall: 65 cm x 64 cm x 28 cm; 25 9/16 in x 25 3/16 in x 11 in
overall: 25 1/8 in x 28 1/4 in x 10 13/16 in; 63.8175 cm x 71.755 cm x 27.46375 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Vassar College
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Artifact Walls exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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