Astronomical Knowledge

  • Jane DesboroughEmail author


Astronomical indication was one of three elements of dial content, along with calendrical and lunar indications in the period 1550–1770. Astronomical knowledge that could be derived from clock and watch dials enjoyed two different contexts of use. The first was astrological and mnemonic in the period up until the early-seventeenth century. Indication of the Sun’s position in the zodiac was used for astrology, but its use in this context declined as part of the first wave of astrological reform. The second context of use was pedagogic. Astronomical clocks were used for teaching alongside pamphlets written by clock- and watch-makers that provided further explanation. This pedagogical practice took place within the context of public science lectures in the early-mid-eighteenth century.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Science MuseumLondonUK

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