On the Lunatick Society, Wedgwood and Walker Lewis

On the Lunatick Society, Wedgwood and Walker Lewis

This week, I’m adding a series of blog posts by a young scholar, Walker Lewis. Walker is entering his last year of HS at Stuyvesant and his interest in history is one I am excited to take advantage of. (yes, Winston Churchill was right, sometimes, it’s okay to write a preposition at the end of the sentence, especially in the age of the Tweet).  


Walker wrote most of the entry below, and over the next few weeks, he’ll write several more. Hopefully, his interest in history continues, but even if his intellect takes him elsewhere, I am excited to read what he’s putting together. My hope is that Walker’s posts will tangentially relate to items I have for sale, and that by reading the posts, we’ll both learn or relearn something.  Without further ado:


The Lunaticks of Birmingham


In mid-18th Century Birmingham (England) , a small group of like-minded intellectuals would discuss their interests at meetings held when the moon was full. Called the Lunaticks, for their preferred meeting time, the members of this Lunar Society pledged to help each other realize greater success when each faced considerable adversity to the new ideas they expounded.


While the size of the Lunar Society waxed and waned over the roughly 50 years of its existence, the inner circle of nine self-dubbed “Lunaticks” included figures we now consider at the crux of English 19th Century forward-thinking science, technology, industry, medicine, religion and philosophy:

  1. Matthew Boulton (1728 - 1809), a manufacturer of ornate metal objects

  2. Erasmus Darwin (1731 - 1802), a renowned physician

  3. Thomas Day (1748 - 1789), an author and abolitionist

  4. Richard L. Edgeworth (1744 - 1817), a writer and inventor

  5. James Keir (1735 - 1820), a chemist

  6. Joseph Priestley (1733 - 1804), a theologian and chemist who was credited with the discovery of Oxygen

  7. William Small (1734 - 1775), a Presbyterian Minister

  8. James Watt (1736 - 1819), The inventor of the Watt Steam Engine

  9. Josiah Wedgwood (1730 - 1795), a potter and chemist




  1. Boulton         Image result for matthew boulton

  2. Darwin          Image result for erasmus darwin

  3. Day                Image result for thomas day

  4. Edgeworth      Image result for thomas day author

  5. Keir          Image result for james keir

  6. Priestly     Image result for joseph priestley

  7. Small        Image result for william small;

  8. Watt          Image result for james watt

  9. Wedgwood  Image result for josiah wedgwood

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