James Ferguson (1710 1776) was a Scottish self-taught astronomer, instrument maker and artist. Of humble background, he became a highly successful lecturer on experimental philosophy and science. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1763, received a royal pension, and is particularly remembered as an inventor and improver of astronomical and other scientific apparatus. These include a new type of orrery, clocks, and his astronomical rotula. His lectures and books were noted for their clear explanations for a general audience, and Astronomy Explained upon Sir Isaac Newton's Principles and Made Easy for Those Who Have Not Studied Mathematics (1756) was a bestseller. This autobiographical memoir, expanded by Ebenezer Henderson in 1867, also contains a full description of Ferguson's principal inventions, with many illustrations."