An inventor, horologist and aviator has lent the National Maritime Museum a historic Harrison longclock to allow all surviving examples of Harrison’s clocks to be shown in one place for the first time.
Dr John C Taylor OBE, who himself designed and built the Corpus Chronophage, on show at Corpus Christi College at Cambridge University, has loaned the Greenwich museum four clocks from his personal collection for its newly opened Ships, Clocks and Stars’ Exhibition.
These include his prized John Harrison Long Case Pendulum Clock, used by Harrison to regulate his sea clocks. Taylor has also lent the museum a pocket watch, a Fromanteel Norfolk Longcase Clock and a Mudge Green clock, an early maritime timekeeper with constant force escapement completed in 1779.
The Ships, Clocks and Stars Exhibition is being described as including one of the most exciting collections of clocks ever assembled. The clocks have been brough together to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Longitude Act 1714.
Yorkshire clockmaker John Harrison spent his life refining the accuracy of his marine chronometers to solve the problem of determining Longitude at sea and eventually collecting more than £23,000 for his efforts.
Dr Taylor, who designed the thermostat controls found in two billion kettles worldwide, said: “It is very exciting to see such a well-visited venue showing just how important timekeeping and navigation is to sailors and indeed everyone. I cannot think of a single more fitting location to exhibit such an important collection of clocks, such is the link between clock design and architecture.”
The Ships, Clocks and Stars exhibition runs until January 5 with tickets costing £8.50.