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This simple and obviously homemade device may have been used by an itinerant teacher in New England in the early 19th century. The oval base is made of pine. It has a picture of the Sun painted near the middle, as well as indications of “Summer in the Northern Hemisphere,” “Summer in the Southern Hemisphere,” two positions of “Equal day & night,” and signs of the zodiac. The Earth is represented by a wooden ball that, with its post, moves in a groove around the Sun.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
early 19th century
place made
United States
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 19 1/2 in x 26 in; 49.53 cm x 66.04 cm
overall: 8 3/4 in x 19 1/2 in x 26 in; 22.225 cm x 49.53 cm x 66.04 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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