|77 forum posts|
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 yet||17/05/2019 20:44:57|
|2933 forum posts|
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
|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 Gilligan||17/05/2019 22:20:53|
13111 forum posts
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**
The man was undoubtedly a genius
Concerning Such Mechanism:
and [mercifully] here is an 'accessible translation'
Edited By Michael Gilligan on 17/05/2019 22:27:51
|173 forum posts|
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 Wood||18/05/2019 09:46:25|
|1895 forum posts|
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
|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
810 forum posts
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 !
|Brian Wood||18/05/2019 11:11:40|
|1895 forum posts|
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
|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.
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