Book Review – ‘Kendall’s Longitude’ by J. Bendall

By Wolfgang Köberer, published March 2021


Chronometers were (and are) expensive instruments, which is the reason why so many of them are preserved and as such items that are one or even two centuries old can still be found in the market and at auctions. Many chronometers, therefore, took part in maritime activity from the third quarter of the eighteenth to the middle of the twentieth century, especially in the early years when they were taken on voyages of exploration and of expansion of the (British) empire. Although John Harrison’s ‘timekeepers’ H2 and H3 never went to sea, and H1 and H4 were only tested at sea in single voyages to find out whether they really fulfilled the stipulations of the ‘Longitude Act’, the three copies made by Larcum Kendall were lent by the Board of Longitude for use on some of the most famous voyages of exploration. This book tells the story of one of those chronometers, K2’s, travels and of the people and circumstances involved…

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Filed under: Popular Topics
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea | Science & Exploration | Ship Handling & Seamanship

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