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John Harrison’s first "sea clock", called H1, was tested on a return voyage to Portugal in 1736. It proved to be the most accurate clock ever to go to sea, but didn't quite manage to collect the £20,000 prize offered by the British government for solving the longitude problem. H1 had many novel features. A system of swinging balances and springs prevented the ship's motion affecting its workings, and it never needed lubricating.


Sphère armillaire et pendule astronomique, Jost Bürgi and Antonius Eisenhoit, Cassel, Allemagne, 1585

19th C. Parisian Brass Telescope | Reproduced from a 19th-century original by a Parisian manufacturer of telescopes, microscopes and lenses, this telescope is a perfect blend of technology and historical design. Resting on the vintage-inspired tripod base is a powerful lens with 12x magnification and an antiqued finish that recalls the original. ($2995)

Armillary Sphere by LadyVenovel Photography / Other©2010-2013 LadyVenovel by Gualterus Arsenius, Louvain, 1568 This is a so-called Ptolemaic or earth-centered armillary sphere. Armillary spheres were used as teaching tools and, sometimes, to aid astronomical calculations. Around the central Earth are rings that represent the main celestial circles. Off these circles, there are pointers marking the positions of key stars.

An 18th century brass Augsburg pattern equinoctial compass sun dial engraved on the underside of the compass box with latitudes for several European cities.

Circle of Jamin and Sénarmont, J. Duboscq, Paris