A conjunction of planets occurred on May 8, 1774. Before it happened, people
insisted that these planets would collide with one another, the result being that
the earth would be pulled from its orbit and incinerated in the sun.
Eise Eisinga wanted to show that there was no reason for panic.
All the planets in Eisinga's model orbit the sun at the same speed as
do the real planets: Mercury in 88 days, the earth in one year, and
Saturn in more than 29 years! Even today, after so many years, the actual
position of the planets can be seen by looking at this model. Besides this
model, Eise Eisinga also built all kinds of special clocks that indicate
the day, the date, the rising and setting of the sun and moon, the
apparent movement of the heavens due to the rotation of the earth,
and other phenomena.
All of this is kept in motion by an impressive gear mechanism that
uses wooden hoops and disks with 10,000 hand-forged nails as teeth.
Controlling this gear mechanism are a pendulum clock and nine weights.