The celestial indicator is a unique American two-in-one device, combining an armillary sphere (rings showing the celestial circles of the earth and sky) and an orrery (showing relative planetary movement in the solar system). It is one of the most interesting and sophisticated American globes or planetary devices ever invented, and should be included in any comprehensive collection of American globes. The device was the invention of Henry L. Bryant, of Hartford, Connecticut. It is described by Smithsonian Institution globe scholar Deborah Jean Warner as follows:
Other examples of the Bryant Celestial Indicator are in National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institute and the Connecticut Historical Society.
Titled on Outer Label: The Celestial Indicator By HENRY BRYANT HARTFORD, CONN. Explanations and Directions … Patented Sept. 10, 1872.”
Condition: Generally very good with the usual expected wear and handling. Some light fading, wear, and professional restorations to minor chips on paper labels. Brass bands evenly toned with occasional slight irregular bending.
Bryant, Henry. A Synopsis of the Elements of Astronomy, and a Description of the Celestial Indicator. Hartford: 1872.
1872-1873 Illustrated Catalogue of School Merchandise. Boston: J.L. Hammett, 1872. p. 74.
Groce, George C. and Wallace, David H. The New-York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America 1564-1860. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969. p. 93.