By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale May 23

Harrison's Equipment

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Haggerleases17/05/2019 20:04:45
77 forum posts

Hi all.

Having read 'Longitude' some time ago, I wondered what sort of equipment John Harrison would have used to build such astounding clocks. I'm sure lathes would have been at a very early stage of development and most work would be done by hand?

not done it yet17/05/2019 20:44:57
2933 forum posts
11 photos

If you think Harrison was amazing, look up the Antikythera machine. Definitely a example of extremely competent workmanship from a long time ago. Skills, to make astonishingly precise mechanisms, have been around for a long time.

Edited By not done it yet on 17/05/2019 20:45:27

Haggerleases17/05/2019 21:49:58
77 forum posts

It fascinates me how these people were able to do such things. Perhaps a relatively slower pace of life and more time to think. More focus one what one was doing without a million other distractions. When you look at the time it took Harrison to make those clocks, and life really didn't change that much in all that time. Nowadays a few decades to develop something would see you hopelessly left behind.

Edited By Haggerleases on 17/05/2019 21:50:58

Michael Gilligan17/05/2019 22:20:53
avatar
13111 forum posts
571 photos

It's worth noting that Harrison's first clocks [before the Longitude competition] were made mostly from wood.

This is a good place to start: **LINK**

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bUxZlSVEAk0

The man was undoubtedly a genius

MichaelG.

.

Concerning Such Mechanism: 

http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-ZAA-00883/1

and [mercifully] here is an 'accessible translation'

http://www.hsn161.com/HSN/HeskinCSM.pdf

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 17/05/2019 22:27:51

charadam17/05/2019 23:27:35
173 forum posts
6 photos

Why is it assumed that Harrison's period was simpler, less stressed and placid?

Worry about the Goddam Yanks, the price of tea, Dr Johnson's English dictionary, the French Revolution, syphilis, slavery, war, etc. etc. etc.

Distractions enough for you?

Brian Wood18/05/2019 09:46:25
1895 forum posts
37 photos

I understand that Harrison is also credited with making caged ball bearings for his sea-going chronometers, all in the interests of reducing frictional losses as much as possible.

The man was well ahead of his time

Brian

Haggerleases18/05/2019 09:59:02
77 forum posts

I guess the deluge of information was less, coming as it would without the internet. It's all relative though.

I've never actually seen any of his clocks, I must make a visit to wherever it is they're stored. I'm overdue a visit to London (I'm guessing without checking at the moment that they're at Greenwich) I need to see the various museums and Kew gardens and so on. It's been too long.

I shall have to watch the filmed version of Longitude and see if It shows his workshop. I saw it years ago but I didn't have the model engineering interest then so wouldn't have paid much notice.

Edited By Haggerleases on 18/05/2019 09:59:25

JohnF18/05/2019 11:08:37
avatar
810 forum posts
88 photos

Its some years ago --- quite some years ! But I visited Greenwich and all Harrisons clocks were on display and running, defiantly worth a visit.

I believe Mr Harrison used several watch & clock makers of the time to assist with making certain parts for has clocks and the final clock was a "giant" size pocket watch design. The powers of the time in the Admiralty resisted him at almost every turn and did not want to accept such humble man could solve the problem -- but he did !

John

Brian Wood18/05/2019 11:11:40
1895 forum posts
37 photos

Haggerleases,

Nostell Priory, a little north of Wakefield in North Yorkshire. has a running Harrison clock that is on show to the visitors to the building. It is a National Trust establishment and this is the only one of his wooden long case clocks kept running now. There are two other examples, one at the Science Museum, the second is at the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in Guildhall London, This one, the youngest, by about four years, was made in 1717.

In 2008 I made a nylon and aluminium winding key for it to spare NT the use of the only remaining copy of the wooden one they were using at the time, itself a beautifully made copy in boxwood of the original. I never got a word of thanks or even an acknowledgement that it had arrived safely in the post, along with spare parts, which I now understand were separated from it and promptly lost! I do though understand that my key is used.

Engineering in Miniature published an article of mine on the construction of that key in their issue of April 2013

I believe winding days are on Wednesdays at 11 am, it is something of a ritual

Regards

Brian

Circlip18/05/2019 11:20:12
939 forum posts

And now, it's often cheaper to buy a new watch rather than change the battery. My own has a photo cell built into the dial so just needs a sun boost to keep running and a radio beacon to ensure its accuracy.

Wonder what John would have thought of that?

Sad his son received the final part of the "Prise" (!) money after his fathers death.

Regards Ian.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Warco
Eccentric July 5 2018
Ausee.com.au
ChesterUK
Eccentric Engineering
TRANSWAVE Converters
emcomachinetools
Allendale Electronics
Sarik
Subscription Offer

Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest