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James Ferguson, British astronomer and artist, 18th century.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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Oil painting of James Ferguson (1710-1776) in his study. Ferguson drew up Astronomical Rotula for showing the motions of the planets and the positions of the sun and moon. He also built an orrery, and invented a tide-dial. He observed the transit of Venus, and presented the Royal Society with a projection of the partial solar eclipse of 1764. He devised astronomical and mechanical models, and gave public lectures on experimental philosophy and electricity.
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