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Thread: John Harrison, Horologist

  1. #1

    John Harrison, Horologist

    I like knowing that people like John Harrison lived. It gives me hope for after the current morass. John Harrison (1693-1776) developed the first marine chronometer. Such are important navigation instruments because they can reveal longitude. In the early 1700s this was so important that the British Admiralty offered a significant cash prize for the first clock, rugged enough for shipboard use, that would provide a location at sea. The best of the then current shipboard clocks, made by George Graham, were generally accurate to 1 second / day, about the accuracy of a modern quartz watch. The Admiralty wanted something more. John Harrison proclaimed that he could make a clock that was accurate to within 1 second in a month. And he drew plans for a pendulum clock accurate to within 1 second / 100 days. A clock was recently built, largely of wood, from Harrison’s plans.
    More here:
    https://quillandpad.com/2021/03/06/b...meter-reprise/

  2. #2
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    And a 3 hour movie called “Longitude” that is free on YouTube.

  4. #4
    I have the book on my bookshelf. Indeed, a good read. I’ll have to check out the movie.

  5. #5
    The victory of the Lunarians shall be all the sweeter for its delay

    https://www.starpath.com/downloads/lunars.pdf

  6. #6
    Just Sayin'
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    I love absolutely Teutonic sorts of attention to mechanical excellence like this. I'm especially enthralled by very old designs that do it just as well or better than what we can do with modern tech.

    At the same time, I read 'Horologist' and my brain immediately went full on gutter-brained E3. Then I googled it and felt a little smarter. A little.

  7. #7
    I didn't know a single thing about him or his clocks till I visited the Greenwich Observatory a couple of years ago. I actually didn't want to go. Glad I did.
    “Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.

  8. #8
    Lives to Enable Revolvers Stephanie B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paladin448 View Post
    Harrison was treated rather badly by the Royal Navy because, probably, he wasn't one of the elite.

    At least that's what I recall from reading the book.
    I knew the gun was loaded, but I didn't think he'd kill.

  9. #9
    Gray Hobbyist Wondering Beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie B View Post
    Harrison was treated rather badly by the Royal Navy because, probably, he wasn't one of the elite.

    At least that's what I recall from reading the book.
    Didn't they refuse to pay him for a long time after his clock was in common use?
    “An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn
    "There are problems in this universe for which there are no answers." Paul Muad'dib

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie B View Post
    Harrison was treated rather badly by the Royal Navy because, probably, he wasn't one of the elite.

    At least that's what I recall from reading the book.
    IIRC, his nemesis, who was with the "in-crowd", was pushing some lunar tracking method and went out of his way to undermine Harrison.

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