Title: J.T Desaguliers - plate 31 from A Course of Experimental Philosophy (London, 1734-44)
Original Format: photograph: negative
Description: Jean Theophilus Desaguliers, a protestant refugee from France, established himself as one of the most prominent advocates of the Newtonian philosophy in the first quarter of the eighteenth century. While trying to clarify some of the theoretical aspects of Newtonianism, he also became deeply concerned with the religious, social and political implications of Newton’s work: for example, at the accession of George II in 1727 Desaguliers published a panegyric entitled The Newtonian System of the World: the best Model of Government. The “planetarium” was Desaguliers’ device to model the motions of the planets. It was three feet in diameter. When the demonstrator turned the crank, all the spheres moved in proportion to the actual mean motions of the planets.