Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/421

This page needs to be proofread.


9* S. XL MAY 23, 1903.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


413


Naval Academy. Norie's was originally established by a Mr. William Heather as a "sea chart, map, and mathematical instru- ment warehouse," where were to be sold "Hadley's Quadrants, and Sextants of all sizes, neatly mounted with two parallel glasses, accurately divided by the Patent Machines, and warranted

gOOu. CrUntGr' S'Xiloa Ol^C.-n-. Qi o A


Scales, Sliding Scales, Sectors, uases oi instruments, and Compasses of all Sorts Sea Telescopes from One to Three feet long with lour or Six glasses, &c."

This William Heather was succeeded by Mr. J. W. Norie in 1814, who was joined by Mr. George Wilson in 1834, the business 'being still carried on by Mr. Charles Wilson and his sons. The quadrant in use for the sign is evidently Hadley's. Hadley's and Gunter's quadrants, of which illustrations may be seen in Barlow's ' Complete English Dictionary,' and which greatly differed in construction, were those principally in use at the time of the sea quadrant's adoption as a sign, Hadley's instrument dating from 1731. There is another such sign, but not so old, outside a nautical instrument dealer's at the corner of London Street, close by; and the late Sir Walter Besant, whose memory lovers of old London will especially revere, dis- covered a shop in Shad well High Road in 1894 with a sign outside of "a naval officer in cocked hat, and tail coat, and epaulettes, sword by his side, taking an observation with a sextant." This also was a nautical instru- ment maker's (' The Voice of the Flying Day,' the Queen, October, 1894). Norie's sign and its associations form the subject of a paper in All the Year Round for 29 October, 1881, by Mr. J. Ashby-Sterry.

There is another curious sign illustrative of this subject which has been hitherto un- noticed. This is the "Orrery and Globe," a trade cognizance displayed by Thomas Wright, mathematical instrument maker to King George II., in Fleet Street, "over against Salisbury Court" (London Evening Post, 20 April, 1732). I think I am right in saying that the arched bands representing the imaginary circles of the heavens, which were a prominent feature of the orrery, even after the improvements effected by Thomas Wright, were in use until the issue of a work by Benjamin Martin, entitled 'Description and Use of Both the Globes, the Armillary Sphere, and Orrery ' (no date), where an illustration of a 'New Manual Orrery,' or a 'New Orrery by Clock-Work' (plate v.), closely resembles the complete clockwork orrery sold by Messrs. Newton at the present day (see also Benjamin Martin's ' Description and Use of an Orrery of a New Construc- tion '). Nor are these armillary attachments


represented in an engraving in James Fer- guson's ' Use of a New Orrery,' 1746. But whether it was Mr. Benjamin Martin or a Mr. Dean mentioned by Desaguliers who was responsible for the disuse of the bands repre- senting the circles of the heavens, as in the armillary sphere, is not clear. Since its invention the orrery has been gradually but slowly improved by additions to and correc- tions of its original simplicity. It used to be contended that the word was derived from a Greek word of the same sound, which signi- fied to see, namely, opaw, because in the orrery all the motions of the heavenly bodies are seen performed as in nature. It is often still asserted that a certain Mr. Rowley, of Lichfield, was the first inventor of the orrery, but Desaguliers, in his 'Course of Experimental Philosophy,' 1734, p. 431, corrects this error. After stating his belief that Mr. George Graham, about the year 1700, first invented a movement for exhibit- ing the motion of the earth about the sun at the same time that the moon revolved about the earth, he says :

"This machine being in the hands of the instru- ment maker, to be sent with some of his own in- struments to Prince Eugene, he copied it, and made the first for the late Earl of Orrery, and then several others with additions of his own. Sir Richard Steele, who knew nothing of Mr. Graham's machine, in one of his lucubrations, thinking to do justice to the first encourager, as well as to the inventor of such a curious instrument, called it an Orrery, and gave Mr. J. Rowley the praise due to Mr. Graham."

Desaguliers himself contrived a machine similar to the orrery, which he called a planetarium.

"Also there has been made another instrument called the Assimilo ; but the Orrery constructed by the late ingenious Mr. Dean exceeds in point of Neatness and Elegance all that has yet been made, if you except the motions of the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn the first was sold for a thou- sand guineas, and none of the largest sort cost less than three hundred guineas." See General Maga- zine of A rts and Sciences, 1755.

In his ' Description of a Planetarium ' Desa- guliers considered the orrery of his time very faulty, because it did not show any pro- portion of the orbits one to another, nor of the bodies one to another, and gave false ideas of several celestial phenomena (' Course of Philosophy,' 1734). Cf. also ' Select Me- chanical Exercises,' by James Ferguson, F.A.S., 1773, pp. 72 and 88 with plate, No. vi.; also his ' Description and Use of a new Four- wheeled Orrery '; ' The Phenomena of Venus, represented in an Orrery ' (Philos. Trans., 1746, ix.) ; 'Description of a New Port- able Orrery,' by William Jones, F.A.S., 1782; 'Description and Use of Globes and the