Bohnenberger gyroscope (detail, 3 of 5)

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made in London

Postcard of Bohnenberger gyroscope (detail, 3 of 5).
© National Museums Scotland

Bohnenberger gyroscope (detail, 3 of 5)

This photograph shows the sphere from a Bohnenberger gyroscope made in 1831. The demonstration orbital globe is an example of the device designed by professor J.G. Bohnenberger of Tubingen University in 1817 to provide the correct dynamical demonstration of the precession of the equinoxes. It was provided to an American collector by the instrument suppliers W. & S. Jones of London.

The sphere from the gyroscope has one of the weight adjustment plugs removed, showing the lamination joins in the two hemispheres, and the edges of the equatorial lead band.

The brothers William Jones (1762-1831) and Samuel Jones (1770-1859) were in business together with their father, John Jones (c. 1739-91), an optical and mathematical instrument maker whom they succeeded. They managed to fill the gap in the market left by such entrepreneurs as Benjamin Martin and George Adams, by advertising in new editions of both of their books, a vast variety of instrumentation, apparently in demand from an insatiable public.

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Online ID: 000-180-001-013-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  
Date: 1831
  • Simpson, A.D.C. 'La plus brilliante collection qui existe au monde' a lost American collection of the nineteenth century. Journal of the history of Collections 7 (1995), pp 187-196. 
  • Simpson, A.D.C. A Sub-Contractor of W.& S. Jones Identified. Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society No. 39 (1993), pp 23-27. 
  • von Bohnenberger, [J.G.F.]. Beschreibung einer Mashine zur Erlauterung der Geseze der Umdrehung der Erde um ihre Axe .... Tubinger Blatter fur Naturwissenschaften und Arzneikunde 3 (1817), pp 72-83. 
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