The Lunar Society
was a discussion club
, of a number of prominent industrialists and scientists
, who met regularly in the latter half of the 18th century
in Birmingham, England
. The society's name came from their practice of scheduling their meetings at the time of the full moon
(in that time of no street lighting, the extra light made the journey home easier).
Venues included Matthew Boulton's home, Soho House, and Great Barr Hall.
They were a very influential group in British science and industry of the time - amongst those who attended meetings more or less regularly were:
Matthew Boulton, Erasmus Darwin, Samuel Galton Junior, James Keir, William Murdoch, Joseph Priestley, Josiah Wedgwood, James Watt and William Withering.
More peripheral characters and correspondents included:
Sir Richard Arkwright, John Baskerville, Thomas Beddoes, Thomas Day, Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Anna Seward, William Small, John Smeaton, Thomas Wedgwood, John Wilkinson, Joseph Wright, James Wyatt, Samuel Wyatt.
Antoine Lavoisier frequently corresponded with various members of the group, as did Benjamin Franklin, who also visited them in Birmingham on several occasions.
Among memorials to the Society are the Moonstones, two statues of Watt and a statue of Boulton, Watt and Murdoch, by William Bloye, all in Birmingham.
A special purpose wiki has recently been constructed to continue the tradition of the Lunar Society: " class="external">http://www.greencheese.org
- The Lunar Men by Jenny Uglow (Faber & Faber)