I’ve always loved Laurel & Hardy’s 1934 film “Babes In Toyland,” and have certainly been known to intone the toy soldier’s signature phrase to myself during any number of odd—and usually inappropriate—moments. Ore-oh, OREO, indeed! If I could only fit myself out with one of those natty enameled uniforms then I’m quite sure that I’d be styling with the best of them.
But I digress. On this day, my purpose is to discourse on orreries; not ore-ohs, nor even oreos. For the uninformed, an orrery is (to quote Wikipedia): a mechanical device that illustrates the relative positions and motions of the planets and moons in the Solar System in a heliocentric model. In this somewhat mod-ern era, mechanical orreries have fallen out of fashion, particularly since online orreries like “The Planets Today” are so easy to use, and exceedingly more accurate.
The problem with electronic orreries is that they lack my favorite component: gears! Continue reading