Dava Sobel makes interesting reading of the story of Harrison and his clock. The book outlines the technical challenges ships had to overcome in order to safely sail the oceans, the different solutions proposed and how the clock won.
If ever there was a story about the dignity of work, this is the story. That is also just some one profound story within this book. What about a story about best practise piracy along lines of latitude travel? Or a story of puffed up academic spanner throwers? John Harrison was born on March 24 1776. He was born on the same date 83 years earlier. His life of work was the creation of deadly accurate chronometers. With an accurate chronometer, ship captains could know where they were in relation to where the time was in Greenwich England. When they knew that they knew exactly where their ship was. It saved
Sobel makes real the human and the scientific challenges of the pursuit of accurate longitude. He makes the problem to be solved comprehensible and gives a description of the solutions appropriate to the lay mind. An excellent read for those who seek to understand the history of this fascinating technology.