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    The Marine Chronometer: Its History and Development (Hardback) By (author) Rupert T. Gould

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    DescriptionThis long-awaited new edition of Gould's seminal text on the development of the marine chronometer not only faithfully reproduces the original, but also includes the author's own extensive notes, made in preparation for a second edition. These amendments, additions and sketches are carefully placed to clearly distinguish them from the original text. The volume also includes an insightful Foreword by Jonathan Betts, as well as a new gallery of 65 images, comprising portraits, up-to-date photographs and black and white images from Gould's collection. First published in 1923, 'The Marine Chronometer' comprehensively outlines the earliest attempts to measure longitude. The definitive work of reference on the subject, it includes exhaustive discussions and diagrams of the important mechanisms, as well as details of their inventors. The first machines capable of accurately determining a ship's longitude were invented by Yorkshire carpenter John Harrison (1693-1776). Astonishingly, the craftsman was self-educated and had never served a day's apprenticeship to a clockmaker. This tome outlines the remarkable story of Harrison's marine timekeepers, which eventually won him the GBP20,000 reward offered in 1714 by the British Government for any means of accurately determining a ship's longitude. Gould also looks, in detail, at the inventions of other important scientists and pioneers such as Huygens, Thacker, Sully and Leibnitz, as well as the work of professional watchmakers including Ditisheim, Ulrich, Earnshaw, Arnold, Berthoud, Mudge and Le Roy. His fluent style and expertise allow the reader to understand technical matters that, in the hands of another writer, might prove less than clear.


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  • The Most Important Book on the History of the Marine Chronometer5

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki The Most Important Book on the History of the Marine Chronometer

    The Marine Chronometer, Its History and Development, incorporating GouldΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’s own amendments and additions rom his original annotated manuscripts, by Rupert T. Gould, with new illustrations and a foreword to this edition by Jonathan Betts. [The ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Λœ2ndΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’ Edition]. Published in 2013, by Antique CollectorsΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’ Club. ISBN 978-1-85149-365-4. Hardcover (cloth, dust jacket), 496 pages, 26 x 20 cm, ca. xx illustrations, many in color. Available at http://www.amazon.com/Marine-Chronometer-Its-History-Development/dp/1851493654/ for ca. US$ 120 plus shipping. NAWCC members may borrow a lending copy from the Library in Columbia Pa.

    Finally, the long delayed and much anticipated 2nd edition of a great horological book is available. The wait may rank among the longest ever for a ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Λœ2md editionΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’. Horologists with a serious interest in marine chronometers and their history all agree that the best available book on the subject is the text by Gould, first published in 1923. The last copy of the original 1st edition was sold in January 1942. Within weeks of the first publication, in anticipation of that day, Gould had started annotating his two personal copies of the book (actually custom bound books of galley sheets with extra wide margins) with detailed (and dated) marginal notes, and he worked on that task on-and-off, as his workload and health permitted, for 23 years till his death in 1946. But only now, 90 years after publication of the 1st edition, and 70 years after the 1st printing sold out, we can finally get the ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Λœ2nd revised and enlargedΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’ edition.

    Obviously there are other books on the history of the marine chronometer: My choice for second ranked book would be von Bertele: Marine and Pocket Chronometers, History and Development (1981ff in German, 1991ff in English), followed by Whitney: Ships Chronometer (1981ff) and Parvulesco: LΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’heure en Mer, une histoire de chronometer (2010, in French), although the latter two are somewhat biased toward their ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Λœhome countryΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’ (but then so was Gould who, while recognizing the contributions of makers like Pierre LeRoy, Breguet or Guillaume, is somewhat dismissive of the overall contribution of France).

    But these are ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Λœ2nd choiceΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’ texts ranking after the Gould book, whose price after 1942 started increasing in the used book market. In 1960, after an 18 year wait, in Holland Press at least published an unchanged reprinting of the first editions (with subsequent, additional re-printings of the 1st edition in 1971, 1973, 1976 and 1978). In the early 1980s the British publisher ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬ΛœAntique CollectorsΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’ ClubΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’ bought the rights to the first edition from GouldΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’s heirs, but in spite of intense efforts at the time could not find a chronometer expert to create the 2nd edition, so eventually they too republished (in 1989) the first edition (with some altered illustrations and textual errors thrown in for good measure).

    By the turn of the millennium even the newer ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬ΛœreprintsΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’ were so scarce and sought after that they retailed for hundreds of dollars. The global community of chronometer scholars and aficionados agreed that any second edition would need to incorporate the corrections that Gould himself had suggested between 1923 and 1942. But that was easier said than done: First there were complex intellectual property issues to solve between the two owners who had acquired the two physical books with GouldΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’s annotations, and the heirs of Gould (who owned the copyright to the text of the first edition). The fact that the two annotated copies differ significantly, and at times seem to contradict each other, also posed problems of Salomonic proportions, which only someone with an intimate knowledge of chronometer history, and a good sense of GouldΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’s mindset could hope to tackle.

    It has been quite clear for some time who would be best qualified for that difficult job: Jonathan Betts, the biographer of Gould (Time Restored ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β€œ The Harrison Timekeepers and R.T. Gould; 2006, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-856802-9) and as the Senior Curator of Horology at Royal Museums Greenwich, the custodian of many of the worldΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’s most important historic chronometers. But for many years Jonathan was busy with his many other roles, in addition to writing the Gould biography. But in the end it happened: The collaboration of Betts, and the publishers, and the copyright holder has produced what this reviewer considers the most important horology book of the year.

    Its layout is highly unconventional: The bulk of the book consists of a re-typeset facsimile of the first edition as originally published in 1923 (including errors, idiosyncratic page numbering, original footnotes, original illustrations, original index, etc.), on slightly larger pages allowing to print ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β€œin a different font- the marginal notes from both of GouldΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’s two personal copies of the first edition (incl. occasional sketches). Where Gould suggested deletions these are marked in ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬ΛœOverstrikeΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’ format. Footnote type numerals refer the reader to GouldΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’s comments, corrections, additions and deletions. Particularly the marginal ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬ΛœCommentsΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’, even if they did not lead Gould to recommend changes in the text make for very interesting reading. There are virtually no pages without marginalia, the majority of pages have 4 to 8 of them (in addition to the original printed footnotes of the 1st edition, of which there are several on most pages). In some instances where the Gould copies included longer inserted notes on separate sheets the resulting texts and sketches are reproduced as additional inserted pages in the 2nd edition.

    The resulting reading experience for this reviewer was vastly unlike casually reading a book. It felt more like attending a graduate seminar involving textual analysis. Of course one could read the new edition of Gould ignoring the hundreds of foot- and margin-notes, but one would miss a unique experience. By also reading all the notes in addition to the main narrative this reviewer felt nearly like he were engaging in a one-on-one interactive discussion with Gould. By reading every footnote and margin annotation one can now appreciate the nuances and complexities of GouldΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’s thinking. Reading the new book in this manner is a slow, intellectually challenging process, but a most rewarding and satisfying experience.

    Additional new material of the 2nd edition (all in the front of the book) now includes: 1. A one page ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Ε“PublisherΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’s NoteΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Β, 2. a two image frontispiece, 3. an eight page ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Ε“ForewordΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Β by Betts (including 7 plates), 4. a 36 page, 54 plates ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Ε“Picture Gallery of ChronometersΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Β, supplementing the 39 plates and 84 figures (pen and ink drawings by Gould, originals now owned by the Museum in Greenwich) from the first edition, which were left at the location they were originally published. This additional information alone justifies the purchase of the 2nd edition

    The ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Ε“1st editionΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Β already was a most thorough and comprehensive text dealing with the subject of ΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Ε“The Marine Chronometer, Its History and DevelopmentΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬Β, but the new 2013 edition offers so much more that that any horologists who appreciates marine chronometers should buy it irrespective if an earlier copy already sits on the bookshelf.

    This reviewer appreciates the huge effort that went into creating the new book by the AntiquesΓƒΖ’Ζ’Ζ’Ζ’ΓƒΖ’Ζ’β€šΓƒΖ’β€šΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β’β‚¬β„’ Collectors Club (Publisher), Susannah Hecht (Editor), Jonathan Betts (who provided the horological expertise). You have done justice to the legacy of Gould. Thank you .

    Fortunat F. Mueller-Maerki, Sussex NJ, August 12, 2013 by Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

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