Philadelphia Chapter One is sponsoring a tour of the Folger Library’s display of the famous Sea Clocks produced by the ingenious British Clock Maker, John Harrison. He is the man who finally solved the problem of determining Longitude while at sea. His efforts spanned a period from 1730 ,when he started work on his Sea Clock H1 until he was finally paid for his work on the incredibly accurate Sea Watch H 4, in 1773. This display includes working models of. H1,H2, and H3, his first attempts at solving this problem. Also included is the actual H4 the watch that won him the Board of Longitude’s 20,000 pound prize.
This tour will include a presentation by Rory McEvoy, the Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England. Unlike Dava Sobel, Longitude author, our presenter has differing opinions regarding the controversy surrounding this important advance in seafaring technology.
”Working with clocks and watches has always been a pleasure but, for me the most rewarding part of the job is placing these objects into the bigger contextual picture; discovering why they were made, by whom and how they were used. Many of the precision clocks at the Royal Observatory have tremendously rich histories and surprisingly long working lives. In my most recent project I researched a group of clocks that celebrate naval heroes. It was particularly exciting to present these objects in the wider historical context and make positive links to texts, paintings, prints and decorative objects from the larger National Maritime Museum collection.”
Here is a link to Mr. McEvoy’s blog post regarding his visit to the Folger Library in Washington, D.C.