Greenwich Time: And the Discovery of the Longitude by Derek Howse

Greenwich Time: And the Discovery of the Longitude by Derek Howse lands on the shelves of my shop, where it will be found in my Horology section.

Oxford, New York, Toronto & Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1980, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Contains: Black & white photographs; Facsimiles; Diagrams; Maps; Tables;

From the cover: This is the story of Greenwich Time, from 1676 when it began to be used by two astronomers in the newly-founded Royal Observatory, to the present day when it has become the basis of the system of time kept the world over. It is also the story of the finding of longitude at sea, for which specific purpose Charles II founded the Royal Observatory in his park at Greenwich three hundred years ago. Greenwich became a household name when, in 1884, its Meridian not that of Paris, or Washington, or the Great Pyramid was chosen to be the worlds prime meridian for longitude and time: Longitude Zero.

The author describes in simple terms the developments in astronomy, navigation, and timekeeping which matched increasing speeds of travel, and how Greenwich Time has been found, kept, and distributed. He also tells some of the many entertaining stories which accompanied this progress: how Columbuss prediction of an eclipse of the sun persuaded the natives to give him food at a crucial time; how a kings mistress had a hand in the founding of a national observatory; how a shipwreck (and a prize of a quarter of a million pounds in todays money) had such an influence on precision timekeeping; how difficult it is to run a railroad if the times kept at both ends of the line are different; how the atomic clock is a more accurate timekeeper than the Earth itself; and how Co-ordinated Universal Time (the name given to the time-scale which is the basis of all the worlds time signals) is still, whatever it may be called, firmly based on Greenwich Time, and is never more than a second different from it.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper.

Red boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XVIII] 254 pages. Index. Bibliography. 8½” x 6″.

About BookLovers of Bath

The world's leading book dealer in Peasedown St. John.
This entry was posted in BookLovers of Bath: The Shop! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s