Reply To: Time at sea in Nelson’s day

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P. H

    Tidal observers across the world from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century, mostly used solar time – because it was so easily found. Seamen did so too, and hence their time (zone) self adjusted as they moved, and so did the date. Only experts could rise to sidereal or solar mean time, so they were rarely employed. Whichever was employed is usually a tacit understanding, but one important to sort out. Mean time became a commonly given expression from 1830 onwards because it was so novel.
    Twisting your question, many catalogues use the word ‘log’ for seventeenth century artefacts that turn out to be journals on inspection. When did the term log-book arise?
    Paul Hughes