The Society Annual Lecture 1935: John Harrison and his Timekeepers
This lecture was given by the remarkable man who rescued and renovated the Harrison timekeepers which are the pride of the Greenwich Observatory.
An account is given of the need to fix the longitude and some of the attempts at solution. Sir Isaac Newton’s summation of the problems and the possible solutions is discussed, as is the Act of 1714 establishing the great prize and the rules of competition. The development of real timekeepers and the gradual emergence of John Harrison to dominate the field is discussed while full credit is given to other horologists, earlier and later. The author goes on to describe with justified pride his part in the restoration of the Harrison machines and his admiration of the genius of John Harrison.