Modern and Orrery Times Compared
Unpredicted as well as expected natural events have always been facts of life, as has social and technological evolution. Sitting in our comfy workshops and laboratories it is easy not to have in our minds the conditions under which precision microengineers toiled around the time of Graham. Electricity and gas had not been exploited for the benefit of easy living and the dim (compared to what we have now) light from candles or oil burners must have caused some eye strain at least. The fumes from the burning oil, wax and fat might have hung heavy in the atmosphere, aggravated by the low ceilings often prevalent at the time. Even the common wood-burning open fires could have contributed to the fug. The streets of London became just a little brighter around 1680, when an oil lamp was hung outside every tenth house and lit for part of the year.