American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Reason

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Rare American Produced Planetarium

Laing's Planetarium. Detroit: ca. 1895, with Rand McNally & Company's New 3 Inch Terrestrial Globe
Laing Planetarium Company
Laing's Planetarium. Detroit: ca. 1895, with Rand McNally & Company's New 3 Inch Terrestrial Globe, 1891
Coated paper globe gores over solid molded brown papier-mâché orb with walnut wheels and parts
Geography & Map Division
Acquisition made possible by Marjorie S. Fisher, 2005 (119.2)
Digital ID: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3170.ct001892

Planetariums are scientific educational instruments that model the solar system. The relative motion of the Earth around the Sun, the phases of the moon, seasonal changes, and other astronomical motions can be demonstrated by using the instrument's pulleys and string or gears and chains. The Laing Planetarium Company of Detroit, Michigan, under the direction of Alexander Laing, developed its string-driven planetarium at the end of the nineteenth century. The Library's collections contain textual material describing the use and utility of these scientific and educational instruments, but this is the first planetarium acquired by the Library.

 

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