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Creating an Ordered World in Disordered Times: The Pope Orrery

November 2, 2023 @ 8:45 am - November 3, 2023 @ 5:00 pm UTC-4

This event will gather specialists—historians of science, furniture, labor, and politics, as well as horologists, and conservators—around the Pope Orrery (built 1776-1787 in Boston) to interpret it from their diverse vantage points. Together we will use the Pope Orrery as a mise-en-scène for an examination of Boston and the British world during the American Revolution, as witnessed by the labor, technology, economics, and politics of its production and sale, the social classes involved, and its use as a spectacle, prestige item, and model for teaching natural philosophy and religion.

The public part of the workshop—on November 3, 2023—will include talks and discussions. It will be held in-person at Harvard University with a hybrid option via Zoom. There is no fee to attend this workshop. The host will be Harvard’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments via the Department of the History of Science.

The workshop has the endorsement of the IUHPST Scientific Instrument Commission, an international body. We are grateful to the David P. Wheatland Charitable Trust for financial support.


November 2, 2023 @ 8:45 am UTC-4
November 3, 2023 @ 5:00 pm UTC-4
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Sara Schechner
+1 617-496-9542
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Harvard University
1 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
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