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Life of James Ferguson, F. R. S.
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  • Cited by 1
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Online publication date: August 2011
  • Print publication year: 2010
  • First published in: 1867
  • Online ISBN: 9780511710704
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511710704
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Book description

James Ferguson (1710–1776) was a Scottish self-taught astronomer, instrument maker and artist. Of humble background, he became a highly successful lecturer on experimental philosophy and science. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1763, received a royal pension, and is particularly remembered as an inventor and improver of astronomical and other scientific apparatus. These include a new type of orrery, clocks, and his astronomical rotula. His lectures and books were noted for their clear explanations for a general audience, and Astronomy Explained upon Sir Isaac Newton's Principles and Made Easy for Those Who Have Not Studied Mathematics (1756) was a bestseller. This autobiographical memoir, expanded by Ebenezer Henderson in 1867, also contains a full description of Ferguson's principal inventions, with many illustrations.

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