Hurry Up Please It's Time
The art and science of measuring time
This month's title comes from The Waste Land, 1922 (winner of the Dial Award), by T.S. Eliot (1888-1965). The phrase recalls that once used by British publicans at closing time.
We are highlighting descriptions for the papers of astronomers, mathematicians, physicists, and inventors who have developed ways to measure time, as well as papers of craftsworkers, historians, and others with an interest in time-keeping technologies.
This pocket watch, shown left, was used by Frank Worsley (1872-1943) to navigate during the open boat journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia, 1916. Photograph reproduced by permission of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.
For this month's choice of collections, acknowledgements to Eric Bruton Collector's dictionary of clocks and watches (London: N.A.G., 1999)
- Royal Greenwich Observatory: founded by royal warrants in 1675, now known as the Royal Observatory, Greenwich; site of the Greenwich Meridian, and where observations formed the basis of Greenwich Mean Time until 1954.
- James Ferguson (1710-1776): astronomer; designed and constructed astronomical clocks
- Margaret Scott Gatty (1809-1873): author of The book of British sundials, 1872
- Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819-1900): Astronomer Royal of Scotland; devised Edinburgh's time signal.
- George Dunn (1868-1903): bibliographer with an interest in horology
- Terra Nova: ship used in the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott); her bell is preserved in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, where it is rung twice daily
- Rupert Gould (1890-1948): author of The marine chronometer, its history and development, 1923
- Edward Jones (fl 1896): watchmaker of Bethesda, Caernarfonshire
- P.H. Page (fl 1907): churchwarden; inventor of a clock and indicator
- Royal Observatory, Greenwich
- British Museum: Time.
- Science Museum: Huygens' clocks; Wells cathedral clock; Atomic clocks.
- Virtual Shackleton: the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition article includes photos of Frank Worsley's pocket watch and chronometer (Scott Polar Research Institute)
- National Maritime Museum: with over 1,000 specialised time-keeping objects
- Gersholm Parkington Collection: horological collection at Manor House Museum (St Edmundsbury, West Suffolk).
- Antiquarian Horological Society: learned society formed in 1953; has its own library.
- British Horology Institute: founded in London in 1858; the Institute has its own library and museum.
- Worshipful Company Of Clockmakers Of London: craft guild founded under Royal Charter in 1631; has its own museum.
- Human Clock: representing every minute of the day
- The 10,000 Year Clock: project to build a monument-scale, multi-millennial, all-mechanical clock (The Long Now)
[ Archives Hub Blog: In the nick of time.
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