HARRISON - John, London.


1693: born

1776: died.

In Barrow until 1735, except for a visit to London in 1728.

The most remarkable man in the history of horology. Son of a carpenter; self-educated;

made long case clock in 1715 (now in Guildhall Museum)

First used in 1725 gridiron compensation pendulum and invented grasshopper escapement before 1728.

Produced his No. 1 marine timepiece in 1735, No. 2 in 1739, No. 3 in 1751and No. 4 in 1759. The last was tried in 1761 on a voyage to Jamaica and lost only five seconds. On the return, after five months, the error was under two minutes.

This performance gained for him, eventually, the Government award of £ 20,000.

Nos. 1, 3 and 4 are at the Royal Observatory Greenwich,

No. 2 in the Science Museum South Kensington,

No. 5 in the Guildhall Museum.

Long case clocks in Victoria and Albert Museum South Kensington,


John Harrison's Number 4 chronometer,
which eventually won him the board of
Longitude's award