Between rhetoric and reality

Instrumental practices at the astronomical observatory of the Amsterdam Society Felix Meritis, 1786-1889

Huib J. ZuidervaartRob H. Gent

Between rhetoric and reality

ingenaaid: € 19.00

ISBN: 978-90-8704-363-6, geïllustreerd, 152 blz., April 2013, Engels
Formaat: 24.2 (h) x 16.1 (b) x 1.4 (d) cm. Gewicht: 292 gram.

trefwoorden: Felix Meritis, Amsterdam, Enlightenment, Astronomy, Eighteenth Century, Nineteenth Century, Meteorology, observatory, Nieuwland, Van Beeck ...


The building Felix Meritis, a 'Temple of Enlightenment', adorns the Amsterdam canals since 1788. The building accommodated the most ambitious attempt in the Netherlands for the integration of activities regarding literature, music, the visual arts, commerce, and the sciences. What so far went unnoticed is that, from the very start, Felix Meritis was also equipped with an astronomical and meteorological observatory. In fact, it was the first scientific observatory in the Netherlands designed from the drawing board. This book describes the history of the observatory (which functioned until 1889), with a special focus on the tensions between the objectives formulated by its founding fathers and the ultimate difficult practice of scientific research. The Felix Meritis-Observatory was crucial for the training and early careers of various eighteenth- and nineteenth-century astronomers, among which Nieuwland, Van Beeck Calkoen, Moll, Keijser, Uylenbroek, and Kaiser (the father of modern Dutch astronomy).


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