Scioptic Ball
   The Scioptic Ball is a rotatable lens used to form the image of a brightly-lit outdoor scene on the wall of a room. The lens is set into a spherical mount rotating inside a corresponding spherical socket in a flat board. The board is then placed over a hole in the shutter of the window facing the scene. By swiveling the lens, various parts of the outdoor scene can be imaged. The device certainly dates to before 1700. 
   The apparatus at the left is in the collection of the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution, and that at the right is at Wesleyan University.
   A scioptic ball, similar to the ones shown here, has been on display at the Science Museum in London.
   This unsigned scioptic ball I found at the James Kennedy Antique Shop in Durham, North Carolina in the Spring of 2000. It has an attached optic system for the projection of optical images, and is thus a relative of the Solar Microscope.

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