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Mr Michael Wright M.A., M.Sc., Cert. Ed., D.I.C.

Michael Wright studies tools and their use, and the design of instruments and mechanism, especially instruments of precision, of all historical periods. In these fields he aims to combine practical insights with an academic approach. He also has interests also in the history of mathematics and of astronomy. He is working to complete the publication of his study of the Antikythera Mechanism, the oldest geared mechanism known, based on his own examination of the original fragments. Other current interests include studies of circular and linear dividing engines, a catalogue of the contents of James Watt's private workshop, and horological topics.

Michael Wright's reconstruction of the Antikythera Mechanism



 Front View                                                   Rear View


Conference Paper

Understanding the Antikythera Mechanism: preprint of the written version of a lecture given by M.T. Wright of Imperial College London, at a conference held in Athens, 17th - 21st October 2005.  This paper is to be published in the Proceedings, of which the bibliographical details are to be announced, and is reproduced here with permission.

M.T. Wright: Publications to date, August 2006.


“Bergeron on Flute-Making”, Galpin Society Journal , XXIX (1976), pp. 26 – 34.

“Gears from the Byzantines: a portable sundial with calendrical gearing”, Annals of Science , 42 (1985), pp. 87 – 138.

(jointly with J.V. Field.)

“Rational and Irrational Reconstruction: the London sundial-calendar and the early history of geared mechanisms”, History of Technology , 12 (1990), pp. 65 – 102.

“Simple X-ray Tomography and the Antikythera Mechanism”, PACT (Révue du groupe européen d'études pour les techniques physiques, chimiques, biologiques et mathématiques appliquées à l'archéologie or Journal of the European Study Group on Physical, Chemical, Biological and Mathematical Techniques Applied to Archaeology) , vol.45 (1995), pp. 531 – 543.

(jointly with A.G. Bromley and H. Magou.)

“On the Lift Pump”, History of Technology , 18 (1996), pp. 13 – 37.

“Londra: il Science Museum e sua collezione di macchine tessili (The Science Museum, London, and its collection of textile machinery)”, Museoscienza , no.10, year VI (June 1997), pp.14 – 19 & 46, 47.

“Current Work on the Antikythera Mechanism”, Proc. Conf. Αρχαια Ελληνικ? τεχνολογια ( Ancient Greek Technology ), Thessaloniki, 4 – 7 September 1997, pp. 19 – 25.

“Greek and Roman Portable Sundials: an Ancient Essay in Approximation”, Archive of History of Exact Sciences 55 ( 2000 ), pp. 177 – 187.

“Moxon's Mechanick Exercises: or Every Man his own Clock-Smith”, Antiquarian Horology , vol. 25 no. 5 (September 2000), pp. 524 – 531.

“James Watt, Musical Instrument Maker”, Galpin Society Journal , LV (2002), pp.104 – 129.

“A Planetarium Display for the Antikythera Mechanism”, Horological Journal , vol. 144 no. 5 (May 2002), pp. 169 – 173, and vol. 144 no. 6 (June 2002), p. 193.

“Towards a New Reconstruction of the Antikythera Mechanism”, ed. S.A. Paipetis, Extraordinary Machines and Structures in Antiquity , Peri Technon, Patras 2003, pp. 81 – 94.

“In the Steps of the Master Mechanic”, Η Αρχαια Ελλ?δα και ο Σ?γχρονοσ Κ?σμοσ ( Ancient Greece and the Modern World ), University of Patras 2003, pp. 86 – 97.

“Epicyclic Gearing and the Antikythera Mechanism, part 1”, Antiquarian Horology , vol. 27 no. 3 (March 2003), pp. 270 – 279.

“The Scholar, the Mechanic and the Antikythera Mechanism”, Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society , no. 80 (March 2004), pp. 4 – 11.

“On Reaming Flutes”, Galpin Society Journal , LVIII (2005), pp. 51 – 57.

(jointly with R. Bigio.)

“The Antikythera Mechanism: a New Gearing Scheme”, Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society , no. 85 (June 2005), pp. 2 – 7.

“Ο Μηχανισμ?σ των ΑντικυΘ?ρων” (The Antikythera Mechanism), Αρχαιολογια & τεχν?σ 95 (June 2005), pp. 54 – 60.

“Μηχανισμοι με γραν?ζια απ? την αρχαι?τερα ?ωσ σ?μερα: μια συνεχ?σ παρ?δοση” ( Geared Instruments from Antiquity to the Present Day: a Continuous Tradition), Αρχαιολογια & τεχν?σ 96 (September 2005), pp. 58 – 63.

“Epicyclic Gearing and the Antikythera Mechanism, part 2”, Antiquarian Horology vol. 29 no. 1 (September 2005), pp. 51 – 63.

“Counting Months and Years: the Upper Back Dial of the Antikythera Mechanism”, Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society , no. 87 (December 2005), pp. 8 – 13.

“The Antikythera Mechanism and the early history of the Moon Phase Display”, Antiquarian Horology vol. 29 no. 3 (March 2006), pp.319 – 329.

Contributions to Books

John Joseph Merlin, The Ingenious Mechanick , Greater London Council, 1985.

(jointly with A. French & F. Palmer.)

Early Gearing: Geared Mechanisms in the Ancient and Mediaeval World , The Science Museum, 1985.

(jointly with J.V. Field.)

Byzantine and Arabic mathematical Gearing , The Science Museum, 1985.

(jointly with J.V. Field and D.R. Hill.)

Eds. M. Hunter & S. Schaffer, Robert Hooke: New Studies , The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 1989.

Chapter 3: “Robert Hooke's Longitude Timekeeper”.

Πρωιμα Γραv?ζια , a translation into Greek of Early Gearing (vide supra), The Technical Museum, Thessaloniki, 1997.

Eds. N. Cossons et al., Making of the Modern World: milestones of science and technology , John Murray in association with The Science Museum, 1992.

Various entries.

Eds. R. Bud & D. Warner, Encyclopedia of Scientific Instruments. Entries on: “angular measurement”; “linear measurement”; and “surface texture, measurement of”.

Eds. N. Easterbrook et al., Master Seafarers: the Phoenicians and Greeks (vol. 2 of Encyclopaedia of Underwater Archaeology ), Periplus, 2003.

A contribution concerning the Antikythera Mechanism .

Ed. E. Lo Sardo, Eureka! Il genio degli antichi , Electa Napoli 2005.

Chapter: “Il meccanismo di Anticitera: l'antica tradizione dei meccanismi ad ingranaggio” ( The Antikythera Mechanism: evidence for an ancient tradition of the making of geared instruments), pp. 241 – 244.