A coloured cotton wall hanging, showing the sun, with sunspots, and along the bottom the known planets (to Neptune, discovered in 1846), each indicated by the letter with which its name begins. At each corner is a brass eyelet from which to hang the piece.
This is one of nine wall hangings now in the National Maritime Museum, all on astronomical themes, which were produced by the Working Men's Educational Union. They were printed lithographically on cotton, probably to avoid paper duty. The hangings would have been used in lectures, held at various locations, to illustrate the latest advances in knowledge. The Working Men's Educational Union (WMEU) was a philanthropic society that aimed to provide education to the working classes.
Artist: Unknown, The Working Men's Educational Union
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