Master Watchmaker in London

Jun 26, 2017

Did everyone enjoy the English heat wave last week when Central London basked in temperatures of 31-33 degrees C? I had a pleasant cold beer in Red Lion Square in Holborn where I noticed a Blue Plaque announcing that no 12 Red Lion Square was once the home of John Harrison watch and clock maker who saved thousands of lives. In the 18th century, he invented a clock and then a pocket watch that kept excellent time on board ship resisting changes in pressure, humidity, temperature and the rocking of the ship. It effectively solved the problem of measuring longitude so ships could calculate accurately their position and not get lost. To help accuracy a red ball was put on top of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park by the Greenwich Meridian line so ships would wait on the Thames and when they saw the red ball rise and then fall they set their watches to 1pm. It still rises everyday at just before one o’clock.


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