Letterhead and bill of Benjamin Cole and Son, 1766-1782.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Thorongood of 'The Orrery' by Cole and Son on a letterhead and bill for mathematical and optical instrument maker, Benjamin Cole and Son. An orrery or planetarium is a demonstration model to show the motions of the Earth, Moon and planets around the Sun, in this example, using clockwork. Such devices became popular during the 17th century, especially after Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) published his universal theory of gravity in 1687. Thomas Wright made extensive modifications to the 'grand orrery' in 1733, and the model shown here has since been referred to as Wright's grand orrery. Benjamin Cole (1695-1766) was succeeded by his son of the same name (1725-1813).