Harrison, John

Harrison, John

New postby Glyn Meredith » Sat Sep 27, 2008 1:45 pm

John Harrison was born March 24, 1693 at Foulby, near Wakefield, in Yorkshire, England.

He was "an English clockmaker, who designed and built the world's first successful chronometer (maritime clock), one whose accuracy was great enough to allow the determination of longitude over long distances."

He died on March 24th, 1776.

See nationmaster.com for more details, also Wikipedia.
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Re: Harrison, John

New postby Charlie Sides » Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:14 pm

"Longitude" is a book that tells the story of John Harrison, his son and their Chronometer H-4. Determining longitude on the high seas was a grave problem in the eighteenth century and Parliament offered $12 million for a solution. That shows how much was being lost at sea due to the longitude problem.

Much trials and tribulations in building the marine chronometers and once that was done, in collecting the prize money. It took him 19 years to build H-3.

Longitude is a good read for historians, horologists, seafarers among us.

Charlie

[Longitude by Dava Sobel. Published by Walker & Co, New York, N.Y. 10014. ISBN: 0802713440]
Longitude.gif
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Last edited by Glyn Meredith on Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Add book information
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Re: Harrison, John

New postby John Moane » Sun Sep 28, 2008 8:08 am

Now Glyn, you have hit on a topic that I have been interested in for many years. John Harrison was a joiner by trade as his younger brother James Harrison was. John Harrison found the time to have made at least eight clocks between 1713 and 1730, which can be divided into two groups. All had wooden movements, but the first three , dated 1713, 1715 and 1717 have conventional brass escape wheels and steel pivots running in brass bushes. In 1720 he was commissioned by Sir Charles Pelham to make a turret clock. He constructed the movement and wheel train from wood. since the clock would be housed in a damp environment and the steel pivots would rust,he made brass pivots running in Lignum Vitae hard wood which has a special oily characteristic. After a number of experiments he made the GRASSHOPPER escapement that will run without lubrication.The longcase clock in the photo was made by John & James Harrison. Has a grasshopper escapement and Oak wheels and Lignum Vitae lantern pinions and bushes. Circa 1726. As for John Harrison himself. He went to London in the mid 1700s and became famous for the man who constructed the H1,H2,H3,H4 and H5. The H4 won him the Longitude prize of 20,000 pounds which was a great deal of money in the 1700s. The best books to read on John Harrison is LONGITUDE by Dava Sobel ( as mentioned by Charlie ) and the Marine Chronometer By Rupert Gould as well as Time Restored by Jonathan Betts (This book is on the life of R.T. Gould), But my favorite of all is the movie!!! LONGITUDE starring Jeremy Irons & Michael Gambon. A must-see movie for the people who are interested in horological history.

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The chronometer by Gould
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Time restored by Betts
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The movie Longitude
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Re: Harrison, John

New postby John Moane » Sun Sep 28, 2008 8:33 am

Forgot to add the photo of the Harrison clock. Here it is.By the way John died on his birthday. WOW!!!

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Re: Harrison, John

New postby Fortunat Mueller-Maerki » Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:14 pm

John Moane wrote:..... The best books to read on John Harrison is LONGITUDE by Dava Sobel ( as mentioned by Charlie ) and the Marine Chronometer By Rupert Gould as well as Time Restored by Jonathan Betts (This book is on the life of R.T. Gould),...


For whatever its worth here is a bit of trivia on Sobel's Harrison 'biography' called 'Longitude': It is the ONLY Horrological book ever that has made it to the bestsellers lists.

A detailed bookreview of the book by Jonathan Betts - who is the current caretaker of the Harrison clocks in Greenwich- on Rupert Gould (without whose manic desire to restore the Harrison clocks Harrsion would be a nearly forgotten figure) can be found in the horological Books section of this Message Board at this link.
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Re: Harrison, John

New postby John Moane » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:14 pm

Fortunat, could you give me any information on John Harrison's son William? as I think he is one of the heroes of this saga. Many thanks, john
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Re: Harrison, John

New postby Fortunat Mueller-Maerki » Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:37 pm

My memory on Harrison's son is hazy and limited to what I remember from the mainline Harrison Biographies already mentioned.

From what I remember he was not the horological inventor like John Harrison but he played an important supportive role, he accompanied the sea clocks on their trial voyages and cared for them once underway. I believe he also may have been involved in the day to day operation of his fathers shop during the later part of John Harrisons life.

Another Harrison who played a key part was Johns brother (whose first name I would have to look up) In Harrisons pre-London days both brothers made wodden works clocks and there are surviving clocks signed by the brother.


Here is a Harrison bibliography from my own personal library:

The following 19 titles come up with 'harrison' in the title or subtitle:

# British Horological Institute
Title: Cummulative Index on articles dealing with John Harrison
SubTitle: published in the Horological Journal 1859 to 2002
Keywords: bibliography
Other Keywords: Harrison
Edition: 2002
Page or pages: 12
BHM ID: 11818

# John C. Taylor, Arnold Sir Wolfendale, John C. [Photography] Taylor
Title: Excitement of Time [The...] - John Harrison, the Royal; Society and Time Measurement
SubTitle: selected for the Royal Society's science exhibition 2006
Keywords: catalog UK-London temp-compensation
Other Keywords: grashopper escapement bimettalic John HArrison
Edition: 2006, 1st edition
Page or pages: 88
BHM ID: 10583

# Arnold Sir Wolfendale
Title: Harrison in the Abbey
SubTitle: Published in honour of John Harrison on the ocasion of the unveiling of his memorial in the Abbey on 24 March 2006
Keywords: UK-London
Other Keywords: Harrison
Edition: 2006
Page or pages: 78
BHM ID: 10140

# Jonathan Betts, Timothy [Editor] Treffry, Martin Burgess, Mervyn Hobden, Anthony G. Randall, Douglas Bateman
Title: Harrison Seminar of the British Horological Institute at University of East Anglia, Norwich 27/28 August 1988
SubTitle: The making of the Gurney Clock and the findings of the Harrison Research Group
Other Keywords: Harrison Gurney
Edition: 1988
Page or pages: 40
BHM ID: 11070

# Jonathan Betts
Title: Harrison [2007 New, enlarged nd revised edition]
Keywords: biography catalog
Other Keywords: John Harrison H1 h2 h3 h4
Edition: 2007, new wnlarged and revised edition
Page or pages: 96
BHM ID: 12166

# Observatory Greenwich, Royal, Jonathan Betts
Title: John Harrision and his Timepieces
SubTitle: Expert insights into John Harrison's magnificent timepieces
Keywords: biography longitude oeuvre
Other Keywords: John Harrison
Edition: 2001
BHM ID: 1967

# Jonathan Betts, David [illustrator] Penney
Title: John Harrison
Keywords: biography
Other Keywords: Harison longitude
Edition: 1997, 3rd edition
Page or pages: 24
BHM ID: 2592

# Humphrey Quill, David Penney
Title: John Harrison - Copley Medallist and the UKP 20'000 Longitude Prize
Keywords: biography
Other Keywords: Harrison longitude
Edition: 1976
Page or pages: 26
BHM ID: 5501

# Ruppert T. (Lt.Cmdr. RN) Gould
Title: John Harrison and his Timekeepers
SubTitle: Reprinted from the Marriners Mirror, XXI, No.2, April 1935
Other Keywords: Gould Harrison
Edition: 1978 4th edition
Page or pages: 22
BHM ID: 826

# Ruppert T. (Lt.Cmdr. RN) Gould
Title: John Harrison and his Timekeepers
SubTitle: Reprinted from the Mariner's Mirror, XXI, No.2, April 1935
Keywords: biography oeuvre UK-London
Other Keywords: Harrison
Edition: 1958 reissue of 1935 paper
Page or pages: 22
BHM ID: 11071

# Heather and Mervon Hobden
Title: John Harrison and the Problem of Longitude
Keywords: biography pupular
Other Keywords: Harrison longitude
Edition: 1998
Page or pages: 54
BHM ID: 266

# Middlesex University
Title: John Harrison's fifth marine timekeeper - VIRTUAL CLOCK
SubTitle: [a CD with a scrensaver for coputer terminals in the form of a animated image of H5 showing time]
Keywords: specific UK-London
Other Keywords: Harrison H5
Edition: 2006
BHM ID: 11792

# Humphrey Quill
Title: John Harrison, Copley Medallist and the UKP 20000 Longitude Prize
SubTitle: [Weboffprint from Notes and Records of the Royal Society London, Vol.18, 1963, No.2, p.146-160]
Keywords: facsimile biography oeuvre
Other Keywords: Harrison longitude
Edition: 2006 Weboffprint
Page or pages: 15
BHM ID: 10426

# Humphrey Quill, Richard Wooley[Foreword]
Title: John Harrison, the Man who found Longitude
Keywords: biography longitude oeuvre
Other Keywords: John Harrison
Edition: 1966, 1st edition
Page or pages: 255
BHM ID: 1969

# Arthur G. Credland
Title: Jottings on the Harrison Family of clock-makers at Hull in the eighteenth and nineteenth centureis
Keywords: biography REGIONAL
Other Keywords: Hull Harrison
Edition: 1988
Page or pages: 4
BHM ID: 11042

# William Laycock
Title: Lost Science [The…] of John "Longitude" Harrison
Keywords: biography oeuvre
Other Keywords: Harrison
Edition: 1976, limited edition, all copied numbered
Page or pages: 160
BHM ID: 4481

# John Harrison, Thomas Earnshaw, John Arnold
Title: Principles and Explanation of Timekeepers
SubTitle: by Harrison, Earnshaw and Arnold
Keywords: historic
Edition: 1984, facsimile
Page or pages: 120
BHM ID: 322

# Jonathan Betts
Title: Time restored
SubTitle: The Harrison Timekeepers and R.T. Gould, the man who knew (almost) everything
Keywords: biography
Other Keywords: Harrison Gould
Edition: 2006, 1st edition
Page or pages: 464
BHM ID: 10399

# Jonathan Betts
Title: {Harrison and Gould, Audio Tape of Interview}Title unknown-
SubTitle: (non published, off the air recording)
Other Keywords: Gould Harrison
Edition: 2000
BHM ID: 755

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

These 21 titles come up in addition if I search for the keyword Harrison although the word 'harrison is NOT in the title'":

# Trent Duffy
Title: Clock
SubTitle: Turning Point Inventions Series
Keywords: juvenile biography timekeeping
Other Keywords: Harrison
Edition: 2000, 1st edition
Page or pages: 80
BHM ID: 282


# Michael R. Matthews
Title: Dava Sobel and the Popularisation of the History of Science ; Paper presented at the conference: From the itinerant lecturers of the 18th century to..
SubTitle: ..popularising physics ..., exploring the relationship between Learningand entertainment. Proceedings of Conference .. Pognana sul Lario, Italy 2003
Keywords: catalog
Other Keywords: Harrison history of science Longitude Dava Sobel didactics
Edition: 2003
Page or pages: 7
BHM ID: 11109


# Dava Sobel, William J.H. Andrewes
Title: Illustrated Longitude
SubTitle: The true story of a lone Genius who solved the greatest scientific problem of his time
Keywords: biography
Other Keywords: Harrison longitude
Edition: 1998, 1st illustrated edition
Page or pages: 216
BHM ID: 292

# Charles Sturridge, Michael Gambon, Jeremy Irons
Title: Longitude
SubTitle: The Time Spanning High Seas Epic
Keywords: biography
Other Keywords: longitde Harrison Gould
Edition: 2000
BHM ID: 284

# Dava Sobel
Title: Longitude
SubTitle: The true story of a lone Genius who solved the greatest scientific problem of his time
Keywords: biography
Other Keywords: Harrison longitude
Edition: 1995
Page or pages: 184
BHM ID: 293

# Dava Sobel, by], David Rinthoul[read
Title: Longitude - The Audio Book
SubTitle: The true story of a lone Genius who solved the greatest scientific problem of his time
Keywords: biography
Other Keywords: Longitude Harrison
Edition: 1997
BHM ID: 747

# Juliana Kettlewell
Title: Longitude clock comes alive
SubTitle: [Feature article in] BBC News Online, Monday 11 March 2002
Keywords: clock
Other Keywords: H5 Harrison RGO
Edition: 2002-03-11
Page or pages: 4
BHM ID: 12276

# Joan Dash, Dusan [Illustrator] Petricic
Title: Longitude Prize [The…]
Keywords: biography juvenile
Other Keywords: Harrison Longitude
Edition: 2000 ist edition
Page or pages: 200
BHM ID: 6276

# Dava Sobel
Title: Longitude [DVD 198 minutes]
SubTitle: Starring Jeremy Irons, Michael Gambon, Ian Hart
Keywords: biography
Other Keywords: Harrison Gould Meskyline
Edition: 1999
BHM ID: 12167

# Jürgen Abeler
Title: Longitudo zur See [Die…], Zeitmessung und Ortsbestimmung auf hoher See, …
SubTitle: dargestellt an den nautisch-astronomischen Geraeten des W. Uhrenmuseums mit einem Excusrs ueber …
Other Keywords: longitude Harrison H1 navigation Abeler
Edition: 1983
Page or pages: 48
BHM ID: 5493

# Dava Sobel, Gerald (Translator) Messadie
Title: Longitued
SubTitle: L'histoire vrai d'un genie solitaire qui résolut la plus grande enigme scientifique de son temps
Keywords: biography
Other Keywords: Harrison
Edition: 1996
Page or pages: 196
BHM ID: 5102

# David R. Axelrod
Title: Lost at Sea - The Search for Longitude
Other Keywords: longitude Harrison
Edition: 1998
BHM ID: 932


# Dava Sobel, Matthias (Translator) Fienbork
Title: Längengrad
SubTitle: Die wahre Geschichte eines einsamen Genies, welches das grösste wissenschaftliche Problem seiner Z..
Keywords: biography
Other Keywords: Harrison
Edition: 1998, 10th paperback edition
Page or pages: 240
BHM ID: 5101

# Kathryn Lasky
Title: Man who made Time Travel [The…]
Keywords: biography juvenile
Other Keywords: Harrison longitude
Edition: 2003 First edition
Page or pages: 44
BHM ID: 6633

# Fernando CorreiadeOliveira
Title: Manuscrito anonimo de Relojoaria na Academia das Ciencias de Lisboa
Other Keywords: Portugal Harrison longitude
Edition: 2005, 1st edition
Page or pages: 104
BHM ID: 7092

# Ruppert T. (Lt.Cmdr. RN) Gould, Sir Frank Watson (Foreword) Dyson
Title: Marine Chronometer
SubTitle: Its History and Development
Other Keywords: Harrison longitude precision timekeeping auxillary balances
Edition: 1923, 1st Edition
Page or pages: 288
BHM ID: 289

# Louise Borden, Erik [Illustrator] Blegvad
Title: Sea Clocks
SubTitle: The Story of Longitude
Keywords: biography juvenile
Other Keywords: Harrison longitude
Edition: 2004, 1st edition
Page or pages: 48
BHM ID: 6632

# A.N.Thomas Varzeliotis
Title: Time under sail
SubTitle: The very human story of the Marine Chronometer
Other Keywords: longitude Harrison
Edition: 1998, 1st edition
Page or pages: 104
BHM ID: 290

# Rachel Dickinson, Rachel Dickinson
Title: Tools of Navigation
SubTitle: A Kid's Guide to the History and Science of Finding your way - 15 Hands on Activities
Keywords: textbook juvenile practical how-to
Other Keywords: Harrison sextant compass activities
Edition: 2005
Page or pages: 156
BHM ID: 11702

# John A. Robey[Editor], Edward Powell, Alan Smith, Chris McKay, Alan Treherne
Title: Your Time - Including the Contribution of Northwest England to the Development of Clocks and Watches
SubTitle: Exhibitions by the Northern Section of the Antiquarian Horological Society at Prescot Museum 1 Feb-16 Apr 2008 [&] Williamson Museum 9 Feb-13Apr 2008
Keywords: catalog UK-Liverpool UK-Prescott
Other Keywords: Harrison No1 Mudge green blue
Edition: 2008
Page or pages: 136
BHM ID: 11679

# Sotheby's,
Title: [S-2004-10-13-NYC] Masterpieces from The Timemuseum, Part Four - Volume 1
SubTitle: New York, October 13, 2004
Keywords: catalog highgrade monumental precision
Other Keywords: Seth Atwood Timemuseum John Harrison Christian Gebhard
Edition: 2004
Page or pages: 208
BHM ID: 6073
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Re: Harrison, John

New postby Peter Blunsdon » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:35 pm

Harrison is also frequently mentioned in Tony Mercer's book, Mercer Chronometers*.

Mercer refurbished H1 & H3 at Gould's request. To their credit Mercer's did not charge for this work as, according to Frank Mercer, the work was in the national interest.

Peter

*See Mayfield Books; New Ed edition (2003)
# ISBN-10: 0954052536
# ISBN-13: 978-0954052539
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