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Two day chronometer made by Hewitt & Sons, London

Date: c 1860
Overall: 170 × 170 × 170 mm, 3.47 kg
Medium: Steel, glass, wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with the assistance of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Chronometer
Object No: 00039801
Place Manufactured:England

User Terms

    Chronometers were used on board ships to accurately tell the time and determine longitude. This Victorian chronometer comes with its own mahogany box with a protective glass inner lid and was number 2112 issued by Hewitt & Sons.
    SignificanceThis chronometer illustrates navigational instruments used by sailors and explorers during the 19th century. This equipment became a standard navigational tool on all ships at the time.
    HistoryDuring the 18th century explorers were attempting to discover and map the world’s oceans and continents. In order to achieve this they needed instruments that accurately defined their location at any given time. The development of a mariner’s clock that pinpointed longitude and therefore a ship's relation to London, England was necessary.

    Following the successful work of the English clockmaker John Harrison in the late 18th century the chronometer became a standard navigational tool on all ships. It allowed mariners to maintain a reliable and accurate time system by determining longitude at sea. The chronometer was crucial to marine navigation until the invention of electronic instrumenst in the 20th century.

    Thomas Hewitt and Son operated a clock making business in London during the 19th century. Hewitt was a Fellow of the Clockmakers Company and an elected member of the Council of the British Horological Institute in 1863.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Two day chronometer made by Hewitt & Sons, London

    Web title: Victorian two-day chronometer

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