Turret Clocks


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James HARRISON of Hull

Born in 1793 and died in 1875, James (James 4) was the great grandson to James (James 1) Harrison, the brother of the famous John Harrison of Longitude fame. James 4, was a maker of turret clocks, he worked in Hull and I know of some 27 extant clocks that he made. With his father, also a James (James 3) , he developed a gravity escapement that was really the forerunner of the Grimthorpe's Gravity escapement as used on the Great Clock in the Palace of Westminster. The Society of Arts awarded James 3 prizes for his improved escapement and self-adjusting turret clock flys. James 4 was probably the first turret clock maker to use cast-iron wheels and dials.

Now that the Big Ben book is out of the way I am working on the James Harrison Book. Contents will include a brief introduction to the Longitude issue, John Harrison and his clocks, James 1, the bell founding activities of James 1, Henry and James 3. After that I will deal wuth William Wynn, the Mechanics' Magazine correspondence before getting to the turret clocks of James 4. An analysis of the James 4 - Johan Horrins letters completes the book. There will be extensive appendicies (half the book I guess) of the key source material. This material will enable future researchers to go further, and also to help serius readers to understand the issues of the moment.

Timescales and possible publishers TBA, but hope to have the writing done by about January 2011.

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