The Trippensee Planetarium Circa 1890
The device was built to survive being handled by children and the gears were driven by chains.
The planetarium consists of a Large brass plated sun 5.5 inches in diameter with attached wooden sphere painted half black, half white, representing a planet. Extending from below Sun orb is a 16.75 inch wooden arm at the end of which is mounted a 3 inch Earth orb around which rotates a one inch Moon orb of wood painted half each in black and white. The moving parts: planet, moon and Earth are activated in unison by nickel plated gears connected by chains. All of this is mounted on a turned ebonized wood column attached to a round, brass plated and fluted base with inset embossed seasons, astrological signs and months. The Earth orb, which is unusually good condition, bears a title tag “Trippensee Planetarium Company, Detroit, Mich.” In the South Pacific on the orb is printed “Rand, McNally & Co. New 3 Inch Terrestrial Globe Copyright 1891 by Rand, McNally & Co.” This only dates the earliest the Planetarium could have been made. Apparatus in working order, although chains may need to be tightened eventually. Brass on Sun orb and to some degree on base is worn.
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