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The Marine Chronometer: Its History and Development [Hardcover]

Rupert T. Gould , Foreword by Jonathan Betts
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 65.00
Price: 63.37 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

16 May 2013
This long-awaited new edition of Gould's seminal text on the development of the marine chronometer not only faithfully reproduces the original, but also includes the author's own extensive notes, made in preparation for a second edition. These amendments, additions and sketches are carefully placed to clearly distinguish them from the original text. The volume also includes an insightful Foreword by Jonathan Betts, as well as a new gallery of 65 images, comprising portraits, up-to-date photographs and black and white images from Gould's collection. First published in 1923, 'The Marine Chronometer' comprehensively outlines the earliest attempts to measure longitude. The definitive work of reference on the subject, it includes exhaustive discussions and diagrams of the important mechanisms, as well as details of their inventors. The first machines capable of accurately determining a ship's longitude were invented by Yorkshire carpenter John Harrison (1693-1776). Astonishingly, the craftsman was self-educated and had never served a day's apprenticeship to a clockmaker. This tome outlines the remarkable story of Harrison's marine timekeepers, which eventually won him the £20,000 reward offered in 1714 by the British Government for any means of accurately determining a ship's longitude. Gould also looks, in detail, at the inventions of other important scientists and pioneers such as Huygens, Thacker, Sully and Leibnitz, as well as the work of professional watchmakers including Ditisheim, Ulrich, Earnshaw, Arnold, Berthoud, Mudge and Le Roy. His fluent style and expertise allow the reader to understand technical matters that, in the hands of another writer, might prove less than clear.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Antique Collectors' Club Ltd; illustrated edition edition (16 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851493654
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851493654
  • Product Dimensions: 26.7 x 20.6 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'This is, though highly readable, an intensely technical work, certainly suitable for researchers or scholars. But do not be deterred: this book is an absolute joy.' --QP Magazine

'This is a book which contains so much of the history of horology and so much technical information that it should be on the shelf of every good horologist who takes his work seriously. It is also very good value for the price at which is offered to BHI members and I recommend it without reservation.' --Horological Journal

'The history itself, with the politics involved and passion for the craft, make for an enjoyable read regardless of prior knowledge' --International Tug and OSV

'This is a book which contains so much of the history of horology and so much technical information that it should be on the shelf of every good horologist who takes his work seriously. It is also very good value for the price at which is offered to BHI members and I recommend it without reservation.' --Horological Journal

'The history itself, with the politics involved and passion for the craft, make for an enjoyable read regardless of prior knowledge' --International Tug and OSV

About the Author

Rupert Thomas Gould (1890-1948) was not a professional horologist, yet he researched and wrote 'The Marine Chronometer' in just four years, between the ages of 29 and 33. A true English eccentric and a veritable polymath, Gould made important contributions in an extraordinary range of subject areas, from early typewriters to the Loch Ness Monster, from antiquarian horology to the history and rules of the game of tennis. He was an early broadcaster on radio, giving weekly talks on the BBC's 'Children's Hour' throughout the 1930s; as a member of the 1940s discussion programme 'The Brains Trust' he amazed a national audience with his wide learning and photographic memory. Yet, his greatest achievements were horological: his restoration of the great Harrison timekeepers and his authorship of so many fine texts on the history of horology are his true legacy.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroes 28 Mar 2010
Format:Hardcover
This really is the definitive reference work on the Marine Chronometer.

A fantastic history of the marine chronometer, written by someone with great passion and determination.

I read the 1923 version.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly researched and beautifully written 31 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
A work so thoroughly researched and beautifully written that it still has no equal today; the book is particularly valued for its fine and careful pen-and-ink illustrations of mechanisms, drawn by the author. Rupert T. Gould spent much of his life restoring the Harrison timepieces that finally solved the longitude problem in 1700s.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have a collection of marine chronometers and wish that I had this book when I started collecting some 10 years ago. It was out of print and second-hand copies were rare and often expensive.

The new edition is well put together and the inclusion of Rupert Gould's notes for a never-published second edition make it more interesting. I strongly recommend this edition of this classic book.

For purchasers who want an easy to read book on the practical operation and maintenance of a marine chronometer, I have found the recently published "The Mariner's Chronometer" by Bill Morris to be excellent The Mariner's Chronometer: Structure, function, maintenance and history.. It complements Rupert Gould's masterpiece.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtually impossible to find at a decent price 18 Sep 2007
Format:Hardcover
This is an exceptional work and if you can find it at a decent price (less than GBP 50 or USD 100), I highly recommend it. HOWEVER, this book was supposedly reprinted in 2006 by the Antique Collectors Club. It has been advertised on all the Amazon websites since 2005. I placed an order in early 2006 and NEVER saw it appear. I tried contacting the Antique Collectors Club and they never got back to me (and Amazon US indicates that the reprint is yet to be published). Some secondary sellers have tried to indicate that they have this reprint, which is an outright lie. Beware...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent historical record. 5 July 2014
By Eric
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An excellent treatise. I am learning about clocks all the time and this has some excellent source data in it. It is also well presented with the author's comments kept so that the evolution of the proposed second edition is clear. This book is, essentially, two editions in one.
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