Book ID: CBB472139775

Marine Chronometers at Greenwich: A Catalogue of Marine Chronometers at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich (2018)


Betts, Jonathan (Author)

Oxford University Press

Publication Date: 2018
Physical Details: 848
Language: English

The Marine Chronometers at Greenwich is the fifth, and largest, of the distinguished series of catalogues of instruments in the collections of the National Maritime Museum. Housed at the Royal Observatory Greenwich -- the 'home of time' and the Prime Meridian of the world -- this extraordinary collection, which includes the celebrated marine timekeepers by John Harrison (1693-1776), is generally considered to be the finest of its kind in existence. The book is however much more than just a catalogue, and includes an accessible and engaging history of the chronometer, revealing why these instruments were important in our scientific and cultural history, and explaining, in simple terms, how they worked and were used. A comprehensive Glossary and Bibliography are included to ensure any technicalities are explained and that the reader has suggestions for useful 'further reading'. Over 480 photographs and illustrations, including many fine macro-photographs and line drawings, illustrate the 'jewel-like' beauty of the chronometer's construction and explain the function and subtleties of its mechanism.A chapter on 'How the Chronometer was Made', describes the fine sub-division of labour used to create these special machines, from bare metal, right up to delivery on board ship, and brief biographies of the makers tell the human story behind this important nineteenth-century industry. Another chapter, 'The Evolution of the Chronometer', aimed at collectors, historians and curators, provides clearly structured information on assessing and dating the chronometer, something many find difficult. And, for the dedicated specialist, there is extensive tabulated data on the technical structure of this important collection, a unique resource for future research.

Reviewed By

Review Anthony Turner (2020) Review of "Marine Chronometers at Greenwich: A Catalogue of Marine Chronometers at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 415-416). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Kinns, Roger
Higton, Hester
Kershaw, Michael
Hayes, Peter
Turner, Anthony J.
Achermann, Silke
British Journal for the History of Science
International Journal for the History of Engineering and Technology
Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society
Histoire & Mesure
Mariner's Mirror
Cambridge University Press
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press and the National Maritime Museum
Editions Isoète
Yale University Press
Antiquarian Horological Society
Instruments, navigational
Chronometers, marine
Scientific apparatus and instruments
Longitude and latitude
Time measuring instruments
Lacaille, Nicolas Louis de
Flamsteed, John
Smyth, Charles Piazzi
Dawes, William
Cook, James
Airy, George Biddell
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century
20th century, early
17th century
Greenwich (England)
Great Britain
Paris (France)
Central Europe: Germany, Austria, Switzerland
National Maritime Museum (Great Britain)
Great Britain. Royal Navy
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Interessengemeinschaft Farbenindustrie Aktiengesellschaft
Greenwich Observatory
Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope

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