Mr Bridges' Enlightenment Machine

Forty Years on Tour in Georgian Britain
by Barb Drummond
rrp $18.69

Publisher: Barb Drummond

Publication Date: September 24, 2018

ISBN: 9781912829002

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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In 1733 Mr Henry Bridges announced his Microcosm or Little World was on display in Waltham Abbey then toured Britain and the American colonies. It was a giant four tiered machine which demonstrated his world at the time, with the finest art, technology, architecture, music and astronomy. 

Henry’s story shows the links between religion, magic, science and cabinets of curiosities. It takes us into the worlds of travelling shows, quacks, medicine, engineering, science and freemasonry and the Longitude Prize.

When Mr Bridges built his machine, Britain was a backward archipelago on the edge of Europe; by the time it vanished she was building the world’s largest empire, almost by accident. This story bridges those two worlds, shows how this was achieved via social skills, education and entertainment. It is about how knowledge and skills were learned and freely shared.

Henry claimed his machine showed the difference between the old and the new worlds. His world likewise provides us an insight into the world we have lost and which provides important lessons for our modern world.