Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account

Thomas Wright  was a British mathematical instrument maker, who was appointed "Mathematical Instrument Maker" to the Prince of Wales (later King George II).

Thomas Wright was apprenticed to John Rowley in the Company of Broderers, who was Master of Mechanics to George I. Wright remained with Rowley until he was freed in1715 and he took over the business in 1728 on Rowley's death.  Wright's premises were at “the sign of the Orrery and Globe”, near Salisbury Court, Fleet Street, London.

Wright made many different instruments.  In the History of Science Museum in Oxford there are examples of his orrery, theodolite, waywiser, drainage level and several portable sundials. Royal Museums Greenwich has a horizontal sundial, circumferentor (surveyor's compass) as well as a drawing set in its collection. The collection in the Science Museum, London includes a planetary model, horary quadrant, callipers, and a flexible drawing curve and he was credited with expanding the Grand Orrery at the Science Museum to include Saturn. A fine mechanical equinoctial dial is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

In 1731, Thomas Wright and Richard Cushee printed a book by Joseph Harris titled "The Description and Use of the Globes, and the Orrery: To Which Is Prefixed, By Way Of Introduction, A Brief Account Of The Solar System" which includes a lengthy description of an orrery and an advertisement: "The great encouragement Mr. Wright has had for many years past in making large Orreries, with the motions of all the Planets and Satellites, and the true motion of Saturn’s Ring, has made him so ready and perfect, that Gentlemen may depend on having them made reasonable and sound, not liable to be out of Order."