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2010/1/90 Meccano model of an orrery, metal / plastic / glass / electronic material, made by Meccano Ltd, Liverpool, England. 1960-1975. Click to enlarge.

Meccano model of an orrery

This object is part of a collection relating to the history and development of calculating devices assembled by Assoc Professor Allan Bromley of Sydney University, comprising mathematical instruments, slide-rules, mechanical and electronic calculators, electronic analogue computers, computer components, kit computers, education computers, and associated ephemera.

Allan Bromley was a lecturer and researcher at the University of Sydney Basser Department of Computer Science from 1978 until his …


Object No.


Object Statement

Meccano model of an orrery, metal / plastic / glass / electronic material, made by Meccano Ltd, Liverpool, England. 1960-1975

Physical Description

The model orrery is made entirely of standard metal, yellow and green meccano. It is made up of a base consisting of a square frame resting on four feet, which supports the long frame that sits atop a large circular cog to allow for 360 degree rotation. This crane like frame is made up of three sections.

The right hand side features the main motor for powering the rotating gears and chains, connected up using a red and blue wiring system. This motor sits on top of the frame, while a large square weight is attached to the underside of and a smaller 8 oz circular weight sits inside the frame.
Perched on top of the left hand side is the main mechanism of the orrery. This mechanism consists of a series of small and large gears which rotate against each other to allow the small models of the earth, which spins on its own axis and the moon, which rotates around the earth, to function. A single long metal rod connects the cogs on the right hand side with the mechanism on the left.

In the centre of the frame is a long vertical rod housing a small platform adorned with a lightbulb and a ping pong ball. This model represents the sun and can be powered by the blue capacitor which is connected to the motor via a yellow wiring system.


Written on base of square weight, "2 5/8 x 2 3/8 / x / 1 5/8"
Marked on interior top of circular weight, "J & J W / 8 oz"



340 mm


195 mm


Credit Line

Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program in memory of Associate Professor Allan Bromley, 2010

Acquisition Date

19 January 2010

Cite this Object


Meccano model of an orrery 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 26 March 2023, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Meccano model of an orrery |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=26 March 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}